Nyssa’s chief sees calls rise

By John L. Braese
The Enterprise

Calls to law enforcement in Nyssa rose by 1,133 calls in 2015 over 2014, according to Nyssa Police Chief Raymond Rau.

The chief released his department’s 2015 crime numbers to the Nyssa City Council this Tuesday, March 1.

Rau also discussed the numbers and the changes from 2014’s figures in an interview with the Enterprise.

“Our officers are more involved in the community and residents feel more at ease calling the department when they see something that does not look right,” Rau said regarding the higher call numbers. “Our scheduling also has the majority of staff out during times we have identified as problem hours. We are able to respond quickly to multiple calls during these hours of high need.”

Although the number of traffic stops fell, the number of citations issued rose during last year.

“We were active in saturation patrols such as the one involving distracted driving,” said Rau. “As a department, we wrote more tickets that day than anyone else in the county.”

Reports of assault and disorderly conduct also dropped in 2015. The majority of those, according to Ray, have been in bars or in the parking lots of those businesses. The assistance of bar owners, Rau said, the problem is lessening.

“We just let people know they were either going to be arrested or receive a citation for fighting,” said Rau. “People seem to be getting the idea.”

Truancy enforcement was on the rise, fueled by having a new school resource officer this year. On the other hand, graffiti decreased substantially.

“Cpl. Rodriguez is going out and enforcing truancy,” said Rau. “The students and their parents are being held accountable. I think there is a direct correlation between truancy and graffiti.”

The department’s use of patrols in certain areas of town has had an impact, decreasing numbers of crashes and vehicle thefts, according to Rau. In addition, concentrated patrols have also increased location and arrests of people wanted on warrants.

City ordinance violations are decreasing. Rau noted that beginning in 2015, the ordinance officer’s hours were increased to 20 hours per week, up from 10.

“He is out there all the time now,” said Rau. “When somebody is checking up on them daily, people clean up rather than receive the violation. He sits down with them and makes a plan, checking back with them daily. The areas are being cleaned up without having to issue a citation.”

Apart from statistics, Rau said he is proud of his department’s community service efforts throughout the year.

“We go to events, and with us being the smallest department in the areas, we have more officers involved than any other,” Rau said. “Our officers are invested in the community and it shows.”