RPD took 13,750 calls in '12; many affected by alcohol

Feb 14, 2013 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Riverton Police Department handled 13,750 calls for service in 2012. The calls varied from proactive police enforcement to shoplifting.

Riverton police chief Mike Broadhead presented the numbers to city council members Feb. 5 after the council expressed interest in knowing the data before renewing liquor licenses in Riverton for 2013.

Any calls for service generate a police report. From that total, 8 percent of the calls for service came from the city's 32 liquor license holders, which includes retail, restaurant, tavern and club licenses.

"The police department is not requesting any kind of action against any of the liquor license holders in town," Broadhead said.

Broadhead listed the locations to the council and broke down the exact numbers and explained the different types of calls. He noted that if several phone calls are received from a car accident, it would count as one call for service.

Not all bad

Broadhead emphasized to the council that not all calls are "negative."

"There are some calls for service that are good and not necessarily a bad thing," he said.

An example of a good call could be if a liquor license holder makes a call to the police department if he suspects there's an intoxicated person at the establishment who's going to drive.

The police department, Broadhead said, prefers receiving phone calls before a problem escalates.

He said some incidents take place in a parking lot, but a business's address may be used for tracking purposes.

The police chief's report showed calls ranging from alcohol sold to a minor, shoplifting, intoxicated subjects, alarms that go off, and disturbances, which can then be broken down to assault, family disagreement, harassment or fight.

Disturbance calls

Broadhead said a larger number of disturbance calls were reported from places that are located in areas where intoxicated people typically mingle or is popular for liquor sales.

He said that although many of the calls have nothing to do with crime or alcohol, he estimated at least 50 percent of the people taken into custody last year were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Broadhead also suggested to the council that if members thought further action needed to be taken with a particular establishment with a high number of negative calls for service, then they could possibly administer a warning or fail to renew their liquor license.

Broadhead said communication between the police department and the liquor license holders has improved significantly and said they will continue to work together to reduce the number of negative calls for service. The police department presented no concerns with any individual liquor license holders or their businesses.

The full report is available from the Riverton police department.

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