Grafton Police Department releases annual report for 2013
Violent crimes saw an increase in past year, 225 reported
GRAFTON – The Grafton Police Department (GPD) recently released its annual year end report for 2013.
Throughout the past year GPD responded to 4,012 calls for service, about 400 less than in 2012.
According to Grafton Police Chief Steve Kliniske, the most notable statistic was the rise in the number of offenses against people including assaults, domestic violence, reckless endangerments and most other crimes where people are victimized through violence.
In total there were 225 of those cases reported in 2013.
Domestic disturbance calls rose from 84 to 104 last year and calls involving civil disturbances rose from 207 to 266.
“Civil disturbances are things that aren’t criminal,” Kliniske said. “It could be as simple as two people arguing over a property line or something like that.”
Crimes against people and property spiked in March and April. Crimes against property spiked again in September.
Kliniske said the city continued to see a drop in the number of burglaries and theft. Burglaries dropped from seven to six and reports of theft dropped from 133 in 2012 to 107 last year.
Shoplifting calls dropped from 11 to six.
There was also a notable drop in the number of traffic stops. A total of 1,187 traffic stops were reported in 2012 and that number dropped to 886. According to the report, 409 traffic citations were handed out last year, down from 797 and verbal/written warnings dropped from 797 to 663.
Kliniske noted in his report that one of the busiest times for his department is SummerFest when the town is full of visitors. He said this year’s Summerfest crowd was very well behaved.
“I have nothing bad to say about SummerFest,” he said. “We actually had less problems during SummerFest than we have on a regular basis. With all those people coming to town, we want them to have a good time, go home safely and make some good memories and usually that’s what happens.”
The SRO program is in its second year. Officer Aaron Cymbaluk spends four days a week at the Grafton Schools and the rest of his time is spent with the GPD.
Kliniske said the SRO program is working at developing and continuing some programs designed to educate youth on drug and alcohol prevention, safety, bullying and crime prevention.
In 2013, GPD acquired a 1987 Humvee from the Minot Air Force Base. Plans are for the vehicle to be utilized partly for the SRO program. He also said it will be used in situations where a heavy-duty vehicle is required.
Kliniske said the acquisition of the vehicle was part of a giveaway of government surplus equipment. He said the GPD submitted its name and was lucky enough to be selected.
The Humvee was a recruiting vehicle for the Air Force plans are for it to be re-painted with the help of students at the North Valley Career and Technology Center (NVCTC).
Kliniske said that the GPD hasn’t really solicited for any help yet with the project, but a number of businesses in town have already offered to donate time and materials to the project. Approximately $1,500 to $2,000 worth of donations has already been received.
“We haven’t really talked to many people, but everyone we’ve talked to wants to be involved in it,” he said.
Kliniske said NVCTC students have started to work on the project when they have some spare time and it hasn’t been decided yet on how the Humvee will be painted, that design may come from the students. He said there currently is no real timetable for completion of the project.
Members of the GPD attended 399 hours of training in 2013. Kliniske said the department is mandated by the North Dakota Police Officer Standards and Training Board that each officer have 60 hours of continuing education training each year. He said all members of the GPD are up to date on training and have active peace officer licenses.
In his report, Kliniske stated that the GPD continues to be a member of the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force which includes the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department, Pembina County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Forks Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He said the department shares the cost of an agent that is stationed in Grafton with the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department. He said the task force has been an asset in several ways including needed help in crisis situations and help with casework and intelligence gathering.
Members of the Grafton Police Department include, Kliniske, Assistant Police Chief Anthony Dumas, Sergeant David Erickson and officers Brad Arin, Alex Droske, Ryan Feltman, David Kurtz, Stephan Stark, Aaron Cymbaluk and Pete Miley.
Kliniske said 2013 was the first year in recent memory where there wasn’t any turnover of officers in the department.
“I’m pleased with the job everyone’s been doing,” Kliniske said of the year 2013. “No one got hurt and we didn’t have to hurt anybody, so that’s always a good thing.”
Kliniske said it’s a goal of the department to continue to build a strong relationship with the community.
We feel that, by educating and working together with different entities and citizens, we will continue to build a solid relationship with the community and this will increase our ability to serve the citizens in the city of Grafton,” he said.