By Charlotte Caldwell
SIDNEY – The Sidney City Council honored telecommunicators and heard the 2022 police department report during its meeting on April 10.
Mayor Mardie Milligan read a proclamation declaring April 9 through 15 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Afterward, Police Chief Mark McDonough read a statement from Administrative Capt. Rob Jameson.
“Last year at this time, I had just been promoted to my current position. I had no idea what it was like to be in the shoes of one of our dispatchers. In the past 12 months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the finest dispatchers that have ever worked in this profession. Through all the extra shifts, the rough calls, the long hours, our dispatchers remain professional, calm and courteous,” Jameson’s statement read. “We’ve had some challenges and some difficult times, but our dispatchers have always adapted to whatever the challenge was. I am proud to be part of our dispatch center, but more importantly, I am super proud of all of our employees. Their commitment to the job is unmatched by anyone. These wonderful employees don’t receive nearly enough credit for the work that they do, and I want to thank the mayor and city council for recognizing them during National Telecommunicator Week.”
McDonough then presented the 2022 Sidney Police Department Annual Report. He detailed each section of the department and provided relevant information from 2022.
• Detectives investigated 157 total general cases and 99 total drug cases. They conducted 110 general case grand jury indictments and 89 drug violation grand jury indictments. They also conducted 32 forensic interviews.
• The Tactical Response Team – which is a joint team of the Sidney and Piqua Police Departments – was activated six times – five times for search warrants and one time for a barricaded subject.
• The K-9 unit, Kilo, and his handler, Officer James Jennings, were deployed 51 times – 20 of those incidents Kilo alerted to contraband, and 18 involved contraband. Jennings and Kilo will be retiring in May 2023.
• The Sidney Addict Assistance Team (SAAT) stats are as follows: 53 calls involving overdoses; 154 reports involving a drug code (excluding overdoses); 10 adults charged with drug violations; zero juveniles charged with drug violations; 47 individuals taken to a grand jury for drug violations; 91 drug charges presented to grand juries; nine times Naloxone has been used by the Sidney Police Department; six overdose deaths; 17 drug presentations completed; 133 individuals the group has attempted to refer treatment to; 72 individuals referred; 22 individuals that contacted the police department seeking assistance for themselves or a family member; and 133.5 hours that SAAT members completed callouts.
• The department had four college interns from two different universities/colleges.
• There were 180 pounds of unwanted medications disposed of. Along with drug take-back days throughout the year, there is a medication return box located in the police department’s foyer for 24/7 access for the community to dispose of unwanted medications.
• Calls for service stats are as follows: 26,162 total police department calls for service; 4,728 total fire department 911 calls for service; 7,922 total 911 calls for service; 1,206 traffic tickets issued; 1,975 traffic warnings issued; 452 parking tickets issued; 591 criminal arrests/citations issued; 26 search warrants executed; 110 juvenile arrests; 173 vacation house checks completed; 1,282 follow-up investigations; 98 walk-throughs; 284 community policing calls completed; 150 consensual field interviews; 26 search warrants; 537 domestic violence in progress calls; 40 drug overdose deaths investigated; 19 death investigations mostly due to drug overdoses; 109 mental health crises; 401 calls for assistance with the Sidney Fire Department; 225 calls assisting other agencies; and 269 stranded motorists. The total calls are significantly higher than 2021’s total calls at 15,692, but in 2021 the agency changed to a new reporting system to capture more call data and require a report for almost every call officers complete.
• The traffic crash statistics are as follows: 475 total crashes – of which three included serious injuries, 29 included minor injuries, 29 included possible injuries, and 414 included property damage only. Saturday had the highest potential for crashes and Sunday had the least potential.
• Retirements included Chief William Balling, Capt. Michael Rosengarten, Capt. William Shoemaker, Sgt. Timothy Kennedy, Sgt. Tony Cunningham, and Detective John Hofmann.
• Promotions included Capt. Robert Jameson to administrative captain, Sgt. Ethan Brown to midnight shift supervisor, and Sgt. Robert Hurd to afternoon shift supervisor.
• Newest employees included Officer Jordan Fox on afternoon shift, Officer Aaron Swiger on midnight shift, Officer Virginia Helton on midnight shift, and SAAT Coordinator Julie Clay.
• Officer of the Year award went to Sgt. Ethan Brown, and he was nominated by his peers.
• Five members of the police department were awarded for the Foodtown active shooter incident in December: Officer Jason Viapiano received the medal of valor; Sgt. Christopher Burmeister and Officers Andrew Shappie and Aaron Wesbecher received certificates of merit; and Telecommunicator Pam Goins received the police civilian commendation.
To view the full 2022 police department report, see the April 10 City Council agenda packet on Sidney’s Documents-On-Demand website.