New Knoxville Police annual report

Staff Writer

This is the second half of the story "New Knoxville's Police Chief notes 2017 accomplishments," which appeared in Friday's edition of the Leader. The PDF attached below (NKPD 2017 Year End report) is the report NKPD Chief Chris McKinney submitted to village councilors during their January meeting. Pick up a copy of today's Leader to read the first half of this story.

McKinney took the Bremen Street residents’ concerns to heart and changed the posting to 25, in accordance with ORC. To give the new posting some teeth, he also kept an NKPD officer patrolling the area regularly. The results were almost immediate.
“The regulars who were coming through, who don’t live here but who travel through here all the time, always knew there wasn’t much (police presence) so they just pretty much traveled however fast they wanted,” McKinney said. “Now that we’ve got some guys who are a little more aggressive … We’ve gotten those regulars slowed down. With that, we’ve seen traffic stops and citations start to decline, which is good, because it means we’re doing our job.”
There were some “growing pains” which accompanied the new posting, McKinney said, noting the nearly 250 traffic stops in 2015. To illustrate how high that is, he said 144 stops were made in 2016 and 114 in 2017.
Still, McKinney said the overall process maintained the integrity of the NKPD while maintaining the safety of its residents. In other words, officers were pulling people over left and right, but the department successfully avoided the “small-town speed-trap” stereotype.
“That first year (2015), the vast majority of those 248 stops were all right out (on Bremen Street); but we didn’t just go out and start writing tickets to everybody who was out there,” he said. “Once we changed the speed limit, we spent probably close to two months just giving warnings to people — especially the regulars out here who are used to that being 35. That year, we made 248 traffic stops but we only wrote 56 tickets. So it wasn’t even 50 percent.”
The annual stops have now declined to the low-100s, and Bremen Street residents are much happier as a result, McKinney said. He noted speed enforcement in New Knoxville is a crucial, because despite having fewer than 1,000 residents the village is intersected by two state routes and has a school and library which sit directly along Main Street/Ohio 29.
“There’s a lot of traffic that runs through this little town during any given day,” he said. “We’ve gotten people slowed down, and the message is getting across: When you start showing a presence, you make people show a little more respect for our residents. Now, you see that steady decline; you see the effect it’s had, and it’s working.”
Another small example of small-town cops living up to the term “public servant” were the golf cart inspections NKPD officers did free of charge, after new regulations on golf carts and other “speed vehicles” went into effect in January 2017. Most departments charged at least $20 for the inspections, McKinney told The Evening Leader, adding Celina, Fort Loramie, St. Marys and even Lakeview residents came to New Knoxville to get their carts checked for free.
The way McKinney put it almost called to mind a real-life “Sheriff Taylor,” who always diligently served the residents of Mayberry and never expected anything in return.
“I’m kinda old school; I’m one of those who still believes it’s not all about money,” he said. “We’re here to provide public services, and if it’s something that doesn’t take a lot of time away from my guys — each inspection’s probably about five minutes — then why not just do it?”
Other statistics and updates in McKinney’s annual report included:
• 6,817 miles were put on the cruiser throughout the year.
• $135 was spent on the cruiser, expenses which consisted of two oil changes and a new set of wiper blades
• A total of $4,928 in bond was brought into the village coffers via increased patrols and citations issued.
McKinney also noted the following 2017 department accomplishments in his report:
• Weaver became a certified first responder, meaning he can now give more assistance on the fire department’s runs.
• Officers participated in active school shooting events held at different schools throughout Auglaize County.
• Officers provided a security detail for country superstars Florida Georgia Line as they departed from the Neil Armstrong Airport after their 2017 Country Concert performance.
• Officers completed 20 hours of state-mandated continuous education for the year.
• Clouner, who joined the department on a part-time basis in June/July 2017, has logged more than 110 hours with the department and has, according to McKinney, adjusted well to his new role.

PDF icon NKPD 2017 Year End report.pdf1.28 MB