North Bend Police: Crime cut in half in 2018 to lowest levels in over 2 decades

    North Bend Police Dept. (FILE: SBG photo)

    NORTH BEND, Ore. -- North Bend Police Department, city leaders, and citizens worked together to cut North Bend crime in half in 2018, the police department reports.

    They say property crime dropped 53.3% and violent crime was down 37.6% (47.3% lower than 2016) and mark the lowest North Bend crime statistics in more than two decades.

    These crime drops are credited to a collaborative and comprehensive plan in which the entire community played a role, the department said.

    The multi-faceted plan began with a workload-based staffing study in the fall of 2016 that showed officers spent less than 10% of their time on proactive policing because more than 90% of their time was consumed with answering calls for service.

    This reactive condition resulted in mounting crime statistics, department officials said.

    The staffing study showed the department should be staffed with 33 sworn officers, more than double the number that were currently employed.

    Department leaders worked to develop a plan to add only four officers, restructure the organization, and move to a different shift schedule.

    The new officers and 10-hour shift would allow for 30 work hours in a 24-hour day, overlapping their work shifts during high-call volume time periods.

    According to NBPD, city leaders and citizens supported the move and the new officers were hired in summer and fall of 2017; 2018 was the first full year with the additional staff on board.

    The following tables show a two-year breakdown of North Bend crime statistics:

    North Bend violent crimes (via North Bend PD)

    North Bend property crimes (via North Bend PD)

    When asked why call volumes experienced by the department remained constant (9,233 in 2017 vs. 8,701 in 2018), Police Chief Robert Kappelman answered: “This is not unusual when a community policing philosophy is employed and staffed appropriately. Call volumes often increase when citizen/police trust is high resulting in greater reporting of suspicious activity.

    “I thank our city leaders for trusting our research and making difficult decisions. I thank our citizens for working together with their neighbors in reporting suspicious activity. Most of all, I thank our staff. They endured changing shifts, took a significant voluntary pay cut, and responded to high demands for performance. We are fortunate to have such a collaborative environment in which to make a difference.”

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