Calls to Duquesne police for assistance are up --- but so are arrests.
Duquesne police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported the increases during the Oct. 9 city council meeting.
Through the third quarter of 2018, Dunlevy said, calls for service are up 40 percent compared with the previous period in 2017, while arrests are up 21 percent. Traffic stops are up 56 percent and traffic citations are up 59 percent, but traffic accidents are down 26 percent, he said.
“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of the department so far this year,” said Dunlevy, who became the Duquesne police chief in January.
Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby said she is pleased with the direction the police department is going.
“Change is difficult,” Nesby said. “Under the prior administration, there was a mistrust of police officers in the community. Our new officers are engaging and participating in community events throughout the city. They are attending football and baseball games, interacting with youth on the street, and having conversations with the elderly to address concerns. We have a long way to go, but it’s a start.”
Nesby said that recently city employees, along with Black Women for Positive Change and the City of Duquesne Police, participated in an Implicit Bias Workshop.
Sponsored by Allegheny County Council, the public workshop addressed the possibility of constructing a county-wide Citizen Police Review Board.
Nesby said that the Duquesne police force was understaffed earlier in the year, which was a tremendous burden on the city budget as it required payment of a great deal of overtime costs to existing officers.
Since the retirement of several long-time officers, the city has been able to hire additional officers at a lower rate, according to Nesby, which has been beneficial to the budget, the community and the now fully staffed police department.
During the city council meeting, Dunlevy reported 770 calls for service for the month of September, resulting in 52 arrests. Calls for service included 16 animal complaints, 14 criminal mischief, 24 disturbances, 34 domestics and seven burglaries.
A breakdown of all types of calls for service can be viewed on the door of the police station or on the department’s Facebook page.
The Duquesne police department also conducted 180 traffic stops, resulting in 95 citations issued, Dunlevy said.
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer who covers news from Duquesne and White Oak, as well as other topics, for Tube City Almanac. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published October 21, 2018.