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Oxford Police Department: 2016 was a busy year

With Oxford’s population growing, it’s no surprise the Oxford Police Department’s call volume is also increasing.

OPD Maj. Sheridan Maiden presented OPD’s 2016 Year-End Review Report to the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday evening that showed officers responded to 57,708 total calls in 2016, an almost 20 percent increase from 2015.

Those calls included incidents dispatched through 911, people calling into OPD over the non-emergency line, calls from officers in the field when they observe events happening and walk-in reports filed at the station.

Sixty-three percent of the calls came from officers in the field.

In 2012, officers responded to 25,426 calls.

“With the number of calls so far since January, I expect to see another increase for this year,” Maiden said.

Friday night, on average, is the busiest night of the week with 9,669 total calls occurring on Fridays in 2016.

Calls for noise complaints drastically increased, from 630 in 2015 to almost 1,700 in 2016.

“That’s five a day,” said Mayor Pat Patterson.

“It’s not like it used to be when one dispatcher sat in the room waiting for someone to call,” Maiden replied. “Those people are working.”

Officers and detectives investigated 2 homicides, 14 rapes and attempted rapes, 16 robberies, 223 assaults, 103 burglaries, 545 larcenies and 13 vehicle burglaries in 2016. Five years ago, they investigated no homicides, 1 rape or attempted rape, three robberies, 94 assaults, 50 burglaries, 148 larcenies and 13 vehicle thefts.

Alcohol-related arrests over the last five years have flip-flopped, increasing then decreasing. In 2012, officers arrested 398 people for DUI. That number jumped to 648 in 2014 then dropped to 538 in 2015, climbing slightly in 2016 to 598. The number of public drunkenness arrests in 2012 was 496, which dropped in 2013 and 2014 before jumping to 682 in 2015 and then dropping to 609 in 2016. Other alcohol violations, like minor in possession of alcohol, only increased from 193 in 2012 to 202 in 2016; however, in 2014 that number spiked to 453.

Narcotics-related arrests jumped from 444 in 2012 to 1,016 in 2016.

The number of wrecks has also steadily increased over the last five years, from 1,396 in 2012 to 2,171 in 2016, with the most wrecks occurring each year on West Jackson Avenue.