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Belmont Police Dept issues annual report

Dec 12, 2019 11:38AM

Belmont PD has an interesting new vehicle and it’s assigned to Officer Willett (pictured). The decals have been “ghosted” on this car. They are black reflective decals, so with no light shining on them they do not show up. But when the light hits them the metallic in the decal jumps out. Belmont PD photo

By Alan Hodge

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Officers and staff of the Belmont Police Department had a busy 2019 and a statistical report presented at the recent city council meeting proved it.

In 2019, Belmont PD had an amazing 32,187 calls for service and made 409 arrests. Total citations issued amounted to 1,829. The average response time for a call was five minutes and five seconds.

Sample calls included 253 civil disturbance, 221 domestic disturbance, 858 alarms, 158 breaking and entering or burglary, 205 assist other agencies, 459 check location/vehicle, 179 careless/reckless driver, 129 damage to property, 105 debris in roadway, and 116 assault. 

Other types of calls in the multitude reported included 217 hit and run, 64 intoxicated subject, 451 larceny, 542 suspicious subject/vehicle, 428 stranded motorist, 175 fraud, and 108 found property.

Traffic stops and citations were in the thousands. Total stops amounted to 3,754 with 2,173 citations given. Speeding accounted for 832 of the citations. DWIs tallied 79. Officers responded to 966 traffic collisions- down from the 1,313 collisions in 2018. This year, Belmont PD held two night checking station events and 19 day events. 

A portion of I-85 is also a Belmont PD “beat” and this  year officers went to 92 property damage collisions with 11 injuries on I-85 South and 65 property damage collisions with 14 injuries on I-85 North.

Belmont officers also handled hundreds of crimes against property calls including 373 larcenies, 90 vandalisms, 96 frauds, and 18 vehicle thefts to name a few.

Stemming vice and narcotics in Belmont occupied a good deal of the Belmont PD’s time in 2019. Officers made 109 felony drug arrests. Officers seized 1,034 grams of cocaine, 8,146.6 grams of meth, 87 grams  of heroin, 10,264 grams od “schrooms”, 150 doses of LSD, and 9,000 milliliters of DMT. Ten firearms were also seized.

The Belmont PD held numerous training sessions in 2019. These subjects included crisis intervention, racial intelligence, tactical seat belt, body cam, stop sticks, rapid deployment/active shooter, customer service, dangerous crossroads, disability awareness, collision avoidance, TASER, intoximeter, and verbal judo. All Belmont PD supervisors completed leadership and risk training, numerous officers earned Advanced and Intermediate certificates. 

In addition, Belmont PD completely updated its policy manual and forms system, implemented special Internal Affairs software, and held/worked 32 special events including National Night Out, Cop on Top, Citizens Police Academy, and Back to School Bash.

Belmont city manager Adrian Miller complimented the PD on its dedication and hard work.

“Chief Chad Hawkins and his department have done a fantastic job this year to engage with our community to make Belmont a safe place to live and work,” Miller said. “Our officers are patrolling the city, its parks, and its downtown to ensure that people are safe. They have worked on solutions to the long-time problem of speeding on Julia Avenue that required community collaboration, have worked with NCDOT to reduce high-speed collisions on I-85 in Belmont, and worked with the federal drug task force to remove illegal drugs from our streets. The officers and command staff have engaged our community in numerous ways to form better relationships with our residents and business owners. Our police department is fully staffed with a diverse group of professionals that have been trained in the best practices for policing. In an era where policing is not always popular and agencies are having a hard time attracting applicants to become police officers, the Belmont police department has been able to attract talented professionals to fill its ranks and has been able to retain its talented professionals. This is in stark contrast to our officer shortage from a few years ago. This is a testament to the leadership and culture that Chief Hawkins has brought to our department and to the resources that the mayor and city council have invested in our department. I could not be prouder of the work of all of our police department staff. I am excited for them to go through the CALEA accreditation process that will show just how far they have come over the past several years.” 

City council member Ryan Schrift also praised the Belmont PD for their work.

“This is the best shape our Police Department has been in for years,” he said. “They have aggressively updated old policies, increased training, and have received numerous accreditations holding their department to the highest standards. All of this is in an effort to increase public safety as well as the safety of our officers. The department has come along way and they now have the right team at the right time to build on these best practices and to use analytics to challenge themselves and build a culture of continuous improvement.”