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Annual report for China Grove Police Department shows decreases in arrests, citations

CHINA GROVE – The China Grove Town Council met Tuesday with little on the agenda beyond department updates.

Among the updates was the annual report from the Police Department by Chief Andrew Deal.

Deal said the department has 22 officers: 13 full-time and nine reserved, unpaid officers. Of these, 17 are men and five are women.

The average age of full-time officers is 37.4, with an average of 11 years of service.

The department has lost only one employee in the last fiscal year. Veteran Officer William Frazier of Kannapolis has already replaced that officer, said Deal.

In 2018, the department received 12,484 calls for service, up 19 percent from last year’s 10,457.

Calls have nearly doubled since 2014, when the town received only 6,370 calls.

Incident reports, including larceny, breaking and entering, murder and damage to property, decreased 3 percent, falling to 518 from 534 in 2017.

This represents an 11 percent decrease from the recent peak of 580 incidents in 2016.

Arrests and citations have seen greater decreases. The annual report lists just 168 arrests in 2018, compared to 316 in 2017 and 380 in 2016, the town’s five-year high.

Citations, which include both misdemeanor offenses as well as traffic violations, fell from 1,577 to 1,138 in 2018, a 28 percent decrease.

“In most police departments, the one thing people want to know about is the number of tickets that are being issued,” said Deal. “While no one likes receiving a ticket, they are necessary to ensure the safety of the public.”

The top three types for citations were speeding, 481; expired registration, 93; and driving while license was revoked, 86.

His report also highlighted the town’s top areas for speeding citations, including U.S. 29 with 222 citations issued, Power Street with 109 and Church Street with 43.

Finally, Deal reported a decrease in vehicle accidents: 186 in 2017 and 174 in 2018.

“Hopefully, this trend continues as we move forward through the current evaluation period,” he said.

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