Seneca Falls Police
Town of Seneca Falls Board Meeting
April 1, 2014
Submitted by: Chief Stuart W. Peenstra
In the month of March 2014, the Seneca Falls Police Department handled 560 calls for service. Of these 560 calls for service, 41 resulted in criminal arrests. The Seneca Falls Police Department responded to 34 traffic accidents. SFPD also conducted 176 traffic stops for the month of March with 85 traffic tickets issued and 4 Driving While Intoxicated arrests.
In comparing March 2014 to March of 2013, calls for service were down 12% (637/560); Criminal arrests were down 27% (56/41); traffic arrests were down 26% (115/85); traffic accidents were up 34% (25/34); and Driving While Intoxicated arrests were down 20% (5/4).
The Seneca Falls Police Department was assisted by outside law enforcement agencies on 23 calls for service and assisted other outside law enforcement agencies on 15 calls for service in the month of March 2014.
Criminal Investigation Division
During March of 2014, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Seneca Falls Police Department arrested (8) individuals on (4) felony charges and (4) misdemeanor charges.
CID was assigned approximately (14) new cases in March of 2014.
CID continued to assist other agencies during March of 2014.
CID continued to assist the uniformed members of the department with open cases and interviews.
CID continued to work on open cases from previous months as well as assisting the road patrol with after hour cases and support.
On March 5 & 6, 2014 Town of Seneca Falls Police Department members conducted transitional training and certification utilizing their newly issued Glock 21 .45 caliber pistols. This training consisted of transiting the entire department form Glock 17 9MM pistols and a double retention holster to a Glock 21 .45 caliber pistol and a more modern triple retention holster. The old 9MM Glock pistols were traded back to AmChar CO. and the proceeds of the trade-back were used toward the purchase of the new guns. The additional cost of the transition was paid out of the equipment reserve account which is completely funded by the sale of surplus items. The training was held at the Waterloo Rifle Pistol Club in Waterloo and conducted by Range Instructor’s Sgt/Inv Calabrese and Part-time Officer Roden.
On March 19 & 20, 2014, Officer Christopher Denny attended NYS Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Training which was held at the Elmira Heights Police Department in Elmira, NY. This course assists Officers to observe, identify, and articulate the signs of DWI impairment related to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
Noteworthy Case for March
On Wednesday March 26TH, 2014, Town of Seneca Falls Police arrested three individuals on Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree charges. The arrest stems from a February 2014 investigation where police were called to Lakeview Heights at 2022 Balsley Road Seneca Falls for some suspicious items. Upon arrival of police, the suspicious items were determined to be homemade explosive devices made from common household materials / chemicals. The items had been located upon the grounds by Lakeview staff, brought into the office, and one of the items had not detonated. The following individuals were charged in this incident: Steven M. Gaudu, age 19, of 2022 Balsley Road Apartment # 217 Seneca Falls, NY 13148 at 1:44 PM. Charles I. VonRapacki, age 27, of 2022 Balsley Road Apartment # 127 Seneca Falls, NY 13148 at 1:48 PM. Bradley E. Zettlemoyer, age 22, of 2022 Balsley Road Apartment # 315 Seneca Falls, NY 13148 at 1:54 PM. All three were arraigned in Seneca Falls Town Court before the Honorable L. Charles Lafler. All three were committed to the Seneca County Correctional Facility on $1,000.00 cash bail or $2,000.00 secure bond. All three are scheduled to further answer the charges in Seneca Falls Town Court on 04.03.2014 at 6:00 PM.
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2014 I am once again requesting the Town Board to fund the additional investigator position and backfill accordingly. At the Town Boards Request, we provided a statistical analysis supporting this request as it compares to ‘norms’ within law enforcement. A Bureau of Justice publication (07-08) indicates that the average number of full-time, sworn, police officers a municipality should have is 2.3 per thousand. However, there is no hard data that indicates how many criminal investigators an agency should have in order to provide an adequate investigatory service to the population it serves.
We decided to make comparisons with respect to populations, number of investigators/detectives, and Index Crimes (Violent-murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and Property-burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) to see if there are any commonalities that would support a second investigator. In the past, we have used the City of Geneva PD, City of Canandaigua PD, Village of Newark PD and the Seneca Co. Sheriff’s Office as ‘like’ agencies for comparison purposes. Additionally, we randomly selected sixteen other agencies that are similar, smaller, slightly larger and significantly
larger to see if the commonalities were consistent with respect to number of investigators/detectives, populations and Index Crimes. As indicated in the attached table the Seneca Falls Police Department is more than twice the average with respect to both Populous per Investigator and Index Crimes per Investigator when compared to both the sample of sixteen as well as the local comparisons. Even when comparing apples to oranges (small to large agencies) the values consistently showed on average of one investigator per 3,848 people and one investigator per 133 Index Crimes. The Seneca Falls Police Department has one investigator for 9,040 people and one investigator for 371 Index Crimes.
By adding a second investigator to CID; the Seneca Falls Police Department would be within ‘normal’ operating conditions, based on comparisons shown, with respect to populations and Index Crimes. One investigator per 4,420 persons (the average was 1/3,848) and one investigator per 185 Index Crimes (the average was 1/133). A second investigator will allow for a more efficient ‘team’ approach and the Town of Seneca Falls will receive a better overall service from its police department.