The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 16, 2013

Crime shift: Enid police, sheriff's office seeing fewer violent crimes

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Adapting to trends

Niles said the sheriff’s office will conduct special emphasis enforcement throughout the year, to address specific problems as they arise in the county.

“With our manpower, we are going to also be doing some concentrated and enhanced enforcement, be it trash dumps or burglaries,” he said. “We will be doing more intelligence-based policing.”

Despite being down officers, Morris said the department is meeting its minimum staffing requirements as required by contract, and responding to all  the calls the department receives.

“We don’t turn any calls away, “ he said. “We are working all the calls we are getting.”

Falling below full staffing does make it more difficult for the department to conduct enhanced enforcement.

“We’re still offering the same service we always have,” Chief Brian O’Rourke said.

He said people have contacted the department wanting more traffic enforcement in their neighborhood, or specialized patrols, but having fewer officers makes it more difficult to meet such requests.

“It makes it tough to respond to people’s requests for enforcement,” O’Rourke said.

EPD uses a program called Command Central, part of its CrimeReports software, which maps crimes with reports taken by the department. Morris said officers use the programs to target areas where a police presence is needed and use it to identify crime trends.

“It allows us to go a little more in depth and utilize it as a tool to become more effective with our enforcement, as far as our patrolling and areas to focus on,” he said.

Niles said county residents could help prevent crimes by being more involved and active in sharing information with law enforcement.

“Be more involved in their community. If you have a tip contact Crime stoppers or Text-A-Tip,” Niles said. “If you see something suspicious, contact your local law enforcement agency or local sheriff’s office.

“We’re going to continue to stress crime prevention and proactive, high-visibility patrols.”

Morris urged anyone with knowledge of a crime to contact police.

“If you have any information involving a crime, use Text-A-Tip or Crime Stoppers, you can remain anonymous,” he said. “It takes us and the public to make this town safer.”

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