Published by KPC News – Steve Garbacz, January 21, 2016
Avilla police officers had a busy 2015, with activity increasing about 20 percent from the previous year.
And the increase didn’t come in the form of criminal investigations or traffic stops.
Avilla Town Marshal Glen Wills delivered his annual statistical report for the Police Department at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, stating he’s never seen a year with such a sharp increase. Most years, activity remains about flat or increases slightly, he said.
“Pretty busy year for the Police Department,” Wills said.
The increase was driven by the extremely high number of business checks — random checks by officers to make sure that doors or windows aren’t being tampered with — that increased from about 21,500 in 2014 to 24,001 in 2015.
Those business checks make up about 90 percent of the department’s 26,773 logged activities in 2015.
The frequent checks seem to be paying dividends, as Avilla had almost no burglaries, Wills said.
“We increased business checks and had only two burglaries,” he said.
But other calls for service also were up by 11 percent, to 2,772. A lot of that increase comes from a sharp rise in the number of times police went to assist other agencies, such as fire departments, emergency medical service or other police departments. That amount jumped 51 percent, from 398 to 600 assists.
The number of criminal cases, auto accidents, alarm responses and town ordinance enforcement actions all were nearly identical to 2014, but traffic tickets and warnings dropped by 8.5 percent. Wills said officers had less time to do traffic enforcement because they often were tied up on other calls.
Reserve officers pitched in 574.5 hours of volunteer time in 2015, which saved the town about $9,000 that would otherwise be paid to part-time officers. Avilla’s K-9 officer also was used more than 100 times for tracking, searches and warrant calls.
In other business Wednesday, Avilla Town Council members opened four bids for a new fire truck. Prices ranged from $534,324 to an apparent low bid from Spencer Manufacturing, South Haven, Michigan, of $497,635. The bids were taken under advisement for review.
Avilla is financing the cost of the new fire truck to replace an older model that is having electrical problems. Allen Township is also paying for a portion of the cost of purchasing the new truck, since the Avilla Fire Department provides fire protection for the rural area outside the town limits.
Council members approved rezoning 81 acres of land the town purchased for a new industrial park, from agricultural use to light industrial. Board members also completed the first phase of annexations needed to get the land inside the town limits by annexing Oak Farm Montessori School, which had agreed to be annexed.
Avilla Freedom Festival organizers also reported they have set dates for the 2016 festival, which will run June 23-25. A new carnival provider will bring 12 rides this year, and a rain-out date has been set for the parade and fireworks on June 26, a preparatory move that was made after heavy downpours and high winds washed out the festival in 2015.
Last modified: May 1, 2020