Arrests by Wellington police dropped by more than half in 2016 as thefts, burglaries, and vandalism all fell drastically, according to an annual report obtained by the Enterprise.
Officers made 154 arrests last year, down from 327 in 2015.
That mirrors a sharp fall-off in calls for help to police, which totaled just 5,692 last year compared to 7,623 the prior year.
Chief Tim Barfield said that can be partially attributed to the WPD no longer dispatching for the Wellington fire department or South Lorain County Ambulance District.
“We’ve had a fairly significant drop in downtown incidents along with burglaries and thefts,” he said. “Although one can never say positively what causes all changes, I am very happy with our community presence.”
Reports of burglary fell for the third straight year, with only five being registered in 2016. That’s down from nine in 2015 and 12 in 2014.
Vandalism and criminal damaging incidents, like burglary, continued a three-year decline, with 24 called in last year, 55 in 2015, and 68 in 2014. Reported thefts numbered 62 last year, 76 in 2015, and 95 in 2014.
Calls for operating a vehicle impaired, though, went against that pattern, almost tripling from nine in 2015 to 24 last year. That’s still similar to the 27 recorded in 2014.
Wellington was one of many Lorain County communities eligible in 2016 for state funds aimed at fighting impaired driving. A task force was organized throughout the area that reimbursed departments for all hours officers committed to the initiative, which involved extra road patrols and checkpoints.
Responses to crashes dipped to 114 after holding steady at 145 and 149 in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Readers should also note the WPD is still crafting plans to eventually move to a new building, with the former Elyria Savings and Trust on East Herrick Avenue being the leading candidate. Limitations of the station, located next to Wellington village hall and measuring just 1,067 square feet, have been discussed at village council meetings.
“The men and women of the Wellington police department are some of the most dedicated and involved police officers and dispatchers around,” Barfield said. “I hold our community support up as an example to law enforcement everywhere.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.