Police reports busy 2018

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, January 19, 2019
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The Bridgeport Police Department had a busy year in 2018.

On Monday, Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford presented the department’s annual crime report to the city council.

With a short staff, Stanford reported the department had a three-year high in calls for service, arrests and citations in 2018.

Last year, the department made 379 arrests and issued 2,345 citations on 52,828 calls for service. In 2017, BPD made 317 arrests and issued 1,741 tickets on 47,903 calls.

“It’s the first time I can remember us going over 50,000,” Stanford said.

Additionally, the department responded to a three-year high in accidents. There were 188 accidents in 2018, up from 161 in 2017 and 166 in 2016. Most of the accidents occurred along U.S. 380, Stanford said.

Despite the higher number of calls and arrests, Stanford reported that the use of force was down in 2018. Those cases decreased from 31 to 14 this year. Officers had two Taser deployments, nine cases of physical restraint and one instance of having a fire arm displayed. In 2017 and 2018, the department received no complaints about use of force.

Beyond their usual duties, Bridgeport PD also had a big year in community involvement – part of Stanford’s goal to create a “partnership with the community.”

Bridgeport initiated the UNIDOS program, which is an outreach program for Spanish speakers in the community, this year. It also continued involvement with programs such as the Coffee With A Cop, Santa Cops and offering thanksgiving meals.

In terms of recruitment, Stanford has been proactive, initiating new policies such as allowing officers to have tattoos and beards. The department recently hired two new officers and promoted two sergeants.

Stanford said the department is actively seeking one more officer position, but thus far the candidates have struggled to meet the department’s standards.

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