Monday, January 11, 2010

Still falling

On a few past occasions, I have blogged about our efforts to reduce party disturbance complaints. The trend in recent years has been good. I put together the 2009 data last week, and here's an update:



This is a huge reduction. Stop and think for a minute about the impact of 800 fewer party calls. Each of those required a minimum of two officers to be dispatched, and took several minutes to handle. A significant number of those required more officers, more time, Incident Reports, Citations, probable cause affidavits, Property Reports, and so forth. There would have been several that included resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. How many trips to the emergency room, or to Internal Affairs emerge from 800 wild party calls? How many thefts, robberies, fights, assaults, sexual assaults, drunk driving arrests occur at or as the result of 800 parties that have gotten to the point where the neighbors have called the police? We certainly have many examples of this collateral damage.

Particularly gratifying is the drop in chronic problems at the same place. The number of repeat calls to houses has fallen by 71% in the past five years.


These are some outstanding results, and reflect good police work behind some proven strategies that have been particularly effective. Nothing wrong with a party, so long as illegal activity isn't occurring and if it doesn't disturb the peace of the rest of the neighborhood.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What kills me is when some 'little old lady' calls in a party when people are just showing up for the party and it hasn't even started yet like just having a party is illegal.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

They can't all be gems.....

Tom Casady said...

5:52 -

That's not typical, though, and these are quickly dismissed when the officer sees that there is no problem and no disturbance. Even when things are a little noisy and rowdy, the vast majority of these are handled with a polite warning, when there are no other obvious law violations. As the data show, this normally suffices.

The big blowouts with such things as underage drinking, sale of alcohol without a license, procuring alcohol for minors, illegal drugs, and other collateral offenses causing a significant disturbance in the neighborhood are where we've made the positive impact.

kaslrok said...

GREAT JOB, LPD!!! Thank you for all your commitment to us!

Anonymous said...

And someone should bring up 12th and Garfield Saturday night.

Several complaints in the near past have been made about this property...

How many officers of each jurisdiction were there? (I heard over a dozen officers and 6-8 cars.)

Steve said...

Don't be too quick to condemn people who call in at the onset of a party next door, or a few houses away. Not all of the callers are little old ladies either. When you have a party house in the neighborhood, you know what's coming as soon as you see the first car full of kids get out with their cases of beer. More often than not, they have already been drinking, and there are likely to be some minors in the crowd as well. It takes LPD a while to respond, and all Hell can break loose by then. I think it is probably easier for all involved to "nip it in the bud" rather than to wait until there are dozens (or hundreds) of drunks doing all the stupid and illegal things they invariably do.

That's not to say that all parties are this way, but when you are familiar with the party house and the routine, there's really little point in waiting until it's out of hand. Besides, if their noise is keeping you up when you need to sleep so you can go to work the next day, you're not going to want to wait until midnight before you call. Some of the parties don't get started until after I'm already tucked in for the night (I go to work at 5 a.m.).

The police did a wonderful job in ridding my block of the party problems we were having. It only took a concerned neighbor (me) to call in every time there was a problem, and after a few LPD visits and some calls to the property owner, the problem disappeared.

The trend in repeat offenders for this problem will hold true for other crimes as well: if you don't let them get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, the number of repeats will drop drastically.

Anonymous said...

But if you call in a party that is not even a party yet there is nothing the police can do. It's not a loud party yet and it's not against the law to have a party.....yet.

simera said...

Back to the Stats - those are good numbers and here at MADD we applaud the work accomplished. Keep it up as we approach Spring and Summer!
MADD Nebraska

Anonymous said...

If you have an hour, This American Life takes an interesting look at Penn State: http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=396 (with a 3 minute hat tip to UNL/LPD).

Tom Casady said...

1:59-

Nice piece!