Grafton Police Department releases annual report for 2012
Personnel changes highlight previous year’s progress
GRAFTON – The Grafton Police Department (GPD) recently released its annual report for 2012. In the previous year the GPD responded to a total of 4,408 calls for service. Grafton Chief of Police Steve Kliniske said the most notable statistic for 2012 is the number of sex offenses that continues to be high. There were 13 sex crimes reported in 2012, up from 12 reported in 2011.
Kliniske said those crimes include internet crimes such as downloading images of child pornography.
According to the report, burglaries continued a sharp decline dropping from 14 in 2011 to seven in 2012. Kliniske said only three burglaries remain unsolved from 2012.
Vehicle accidents declined from 137 to 110. Hit and run accidents were up from 34 to 50 and vehicle accidents involving injury were up from four to nine in 2012.
Reported civil disturbances saw a dramatic increase from 132 to 207, however reported domestic disturbances were down slightly from 88 to 84.
Reports of theft, mostly from vehicles rose sharply from 85 to 133 and reports of criminal mischief involving vandalism went up from 68 reported cases in 2011 to 92 reported cases in 2012.
The GPD saw some personnel changes in 2012, losing two officers and hiring three. Officer Blake Riewer left the force to take a position with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Jorge Elizondo left Grafton to join the University of North Dakota Police Department.
New hires included in May, officer David Kurtz who filled the vacancy left by Riewer. In June Aaron Cymbaluk was hired and in October, Grafton native Ryan Feltman joined the GPD.
In Jwune 2012 the GPD and the Grafton School District partnered to initiate a School Resource Officer program. Cymbaluk was hired to fill that position. According to Kliniske, Cymbaluk completed a typical field training program and was integrated into the SRO program at the school at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
Cymbaluk has an office at both the high school and at Central Middle School. Kliniske said the role of the SRO is still being defined, but up to this point, there has been very good feedback about the program.
“Under the program we have (Cymbaluk) 50 percent of the time,” Kliniske said. “That’s been working out really well. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”
In the near future, Cymbaluk will train for about a week in Grand Forks with one of their SRO’s to see how they conduct business.
“We do occasionally get calls at the school and its nice to have him there on site,” Kliniske said.
Kliniske said he’s very pleased with the officers he currently has and said they are doing a good job.
“We’ve got a good bunch of guys,” Kliniske said. “They all want to do the job and they’re all enthusiastic about doing their jobs. It’s nice, it’s fun.”
In his report, Kliniske said the GPD continues to work with youth in the community through its Kids n Kops day which is held each summer; Operation ID which makes available fingerprinting for children and Project Gun Safe which provides gun locks for free in an attempt to secure weapons to keep kids safe from firearms in the home.
Kliniske said the GPD also continues to have a very healthy working relationship with the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force which includes the GPD, Walsh and Pembina County Sheriff’s Departments, Grand Forks Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Investigation.
According to the annual report, GPD shares the cost of an agent stationed in Grafton along with the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department. He said the task force has done a lot of good work and has been involved in local drug enforcement cases as well as being linked to several Federal cases in the area as well.
Major equipment purchases in 2012 include bars for rear windows of squad cars, new Glock Generation IV firearms and in car computers.
Kliniske said all members of the GPD are up to date with their training and attended 272 hours of classes in 2012.