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Calls up nearly 30 percent

in three years and still climbing

By BETH LAKEY

Staff Writer

April 29, 2000 10 PM

Calls answered by Troy Police Department dispatchers have significantly increased over time.

In the past five years, the department has watched its number of calls for service grow by quite a bit.

Capt. Benny Jinright has watched many changes take place during his 32 years with the department.

When he joined the force in February 1968, there were 12 sworn officers, but things were different then. During an eight-hour shift in the 1960s and 70s, an officer wouldn’t answer too many calls.

"Today, it’s just staggering the number of calls we get," Jinright said.

At night, officers didn’t have as much to do because "the town closed down" after dark and the streets were almost desolate.

"Today, Troy is just as busy at night as it is during the day," Jinright said.

Statistics compiled by the department show a large increase in the number of calls handled by dispatchers.

Every call gets a card punched and in 10 years the number of cards punched has doubled.

In January 1996, some 19,835 calls were made for service. The following year that number jumped to 23,674. There were 26,550 calls to the department in 1998 and 28,475 last year.

And, those number are continuing to increase.

In the first quarter of 2000 – compared to the same time period in 1999 – the number of calls has increased 19 percent.

Between January and March, 7,550 calls have kept the department’s 45 sworn officers driving all over the city.

"In reference to the pattern we have seen through the statistics we gather and compile, our goal is to utilize the resources in the best possible way and to address the trend we have seen in the past and the direction they will be heading in the future," Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said.

Jinright who oversees the Staff Services Division that includes communications, anticipates pushing 3,000 calls a month before the end of the year.