Department closing cases at 20 percent over national average
Within one year, Stallings police went from a case clearance rate barely in double digits to one now well above the national average. When Chief Michael Dummett took the job last December, he singled out the detective division’s case clearance rate, which was then hovering around 8 percent.
By the end of April, that number had climbed to 44.58 percent. By Monday, Nov. 14, the department’s clearance rate stands at 56.11 percent. To put that in perspective, the national average of cases cleared is 30 percent.
“I could not be prouder of the men,” Dummet told town council members during their Nov. 14 meeting. “I come from Salisbury, which is a much bigger town and they weren’t producing at this level. Production is what matters and we are getting phenomenal production.”
Over the past year, officers responded to 654 incidents, with 54 felony arrests. They also handled 362 business alarms and 398 residential alarms, while writing 3,111 traffic citations. A total of $8,600 was seized in drug money, along with 11.1 ounces of marijuana, 11.03 pounds of cocaine and five weapons over the past year.
One of the changes Dummett made when he took over was to calculate the clearance rate on a monthly basis. The reason for that is to help monitor the clearance rate, addressing any declines and determining what, if any adjustments need to be made. Also over the past year, the department started paying more informants to give out information. Additionally, the department worked to build better relationships with surrounding agencies, such as the Union County Sheriff’s Office, he added, in order to develop information.
The changes are the latest of several adjustments the department has made since December. A community policing model was adopted, splitting the town into four zones. Tasers were shelved and a new way of tracking statistics was introduced. Also, the department adopted standards matching the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement, the top guidelines in the country.
Council members applauded the department’s efforts, but council member Wyatt Dunn said he was disturbed that the focus on traffic violations hadn’t cut down the number of speeders.
“I’m concerned the citizens aren’t getting it,” Dunn said.