Traffic citations take dip in 2017

By: 
Jamie Hult, Staff writer

Brandon police handrd out fewer traffic citations and more written warnings, according to annual reports compiled by the department. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

Brandon police are handing out fewer traffic citations and more written warnings, according to annual reports compiled by the department. 
Preliminary numbers show officers issued 764 traffic tickets in 2017, compared to 835 in 2016, and 1,410 written warnings in 2017, compared to 1,343 in 2016.
Overall calls for service have remained consistent in recent years, noted Brandon Police Chief Dave Kull. Police responded to 3,967 calls in 2010, compared to 3,816 in 2017 and 3,566 in 2016.
“Brandon consistently continues to be a relatively safe and quiet community,” Kull said.
Among violent crimes, aggravated assault reports remained steady in 2017, while rape reports spiked. Police responded to six reports of rape last year, none in 2016 and three in 2015. Six rapes were also reported in 2014.  
“We have the occasional high-priority type calls – an example would be the gun at the school –  and occasional domestic deals,” Kull said.
Police responded to a report Dec. 19 of an unarmed gun at Brandon Valley High School. The high school entered a brief lockdown while police took two students into custody.
“One of the keys to keeping the community safe is, like the superintendent said, if you see something, say something; call 9-1-1 and alert us,” Kull said. 
Burglaries were on a decline from 2011 to 2016; Brandon police handled 32 reports on residential and non-residential burglary in 2011, compared to 14 in 2016. That number jumped slightly, to 18, in 2017. 
Numbers indicate fewer drivers are neglecting to pay at the pump, too. Reports of gas skips dropped by half in 2017, from 42 reports in 2016 to 21 in 2017.
Police responded to 11 more reports of narcotics and drugs in 2017 and six more forgeries but 19 fewer reports of fraud.
The number of DWIs was on par with 2016, as were reports of vandalism and missing persons, with nine in 2017 and seven the previous year.
Mutual aid response in 2017 also remained consistent with 2016, as did medical emergencies. Brandon police responded to a total of 281 medical emergencies in 2017 and 268 in 2016. 
Kull said accident reports averaged 180 per year over the past 12 years, with highs of 206 accident reports in 2017 and 209 and 2013. 
Curfew violations dropped from 24 reports in 2016 to just 10 offenses in 2017.
A highlight for the Brandon Police Department in 2017 was gaining two new officers, Kull noted. Kyle Zigan joined the force in November, and Andrew Baker suited up in January. 

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