Crime is just not down in Riverhead, regardless of statements on the contrary by city officers throughout city board work periods.
Prison incidents are up in 2021 — up 14% over 2020 and up 10.3% over the pre-COVID 12 months of 2019, in accordance with month-to-month stories ready by the Riverhead Police Division.
What’s down in Riverhead are arrests by city police in each 2021 and 2020. Arrests in 2021 are down 61% in contrast with 2019 (by way of Aug. 30), the stories launched by the division up to now present.
Riverhead Police made 255 arrests in 2021 by way of Aug. 30 — an eight-month interval throughout which there have been 1,395 prison incidents reported by police. In distinction, city police made 660 arrests in the identical eight-month interval of 2019, when there have been 1,265 prison incidents reported. In 2020, when COVID pandemic restrictions introduced commerce and site visitors to a halt, there have been 1,220 prison incidents reported to Riverhead police, who made 307 arrests.
The varieties of crimes reported to police had been kind of the identical throughout the board in ’19, ’20 and ’21, however the pandemic.
Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller couldn’t provide a transparent clarification for the drop in arrests since 2019.
Officers say prison justice reform legal guidelines guilty for drop in arrests
However in accordance with present and lately retired cops in Riverhead and different police businesses, the Prison Justice Reform laws that went into impact Jan. 1, 2020 has suppressed arrest numbers.
The cashless bail parts of the reform bundle have drawn probably the most media consideration, however different components of the bundle have had vital impacts on policing, officers advised RiverheadLOCAL, talking on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to the press.
The reforms included new necessities for police to acquire prosecutors’ approval of proposed prison fees earlier than they are often filed. That has lengthened the reserving course of for cops, protecting them off the road generally for hours, whereas they look ahead to approvals.
The reforms additionally included adjustments to state legislation governing how rapidly prosecutors should flip over details about a prison case to a defendant, often called pretrial discovery. Beforehand it might be saved from the defendant till shortly earlier than trial. Now the knowledge have to be turned over inside 15 days of arrest.
Law enforcement officials advised RiverheadLOCAL the size of time it takes to guide somebody, mixed with the bail reform legal guidelines that eradicated arraignments for a lot of crimes, discourage arrests. When it takes 4 or 5 hours to guide a defendant and the tip result’s writing a desk look ticket requiring the defendant to return to court docket at a later date, cops will assume twice about arresting individuals on sure varieties of fees, the officers stated.
The brand new discovery legislation has made some victims of crime reluctant to press fees, understanding that the arrested particular person will quickly be supplied with the complainant’s identify, deal with and different private info, the officers stated. The legislation additionally required disclosure of non-public details about the arresting officer.
Hegermiller stated in an Oct. 5 interview he didn’t assume processing time has elevated that a lot and he had not heard that Riverhead officers is likely to be reluctant to make arrests for sure crimes due to the mixed impacts of the provisions of the prison justice reform measures.
“Possibly there’s a notion by the general public that if I cost them nothing goes to occur anyway,” Hegermiller stated.
The reform laws took impact simply earlier than the pandemic hit, shutting down companies, faculties, authorities workplaces and dramatically impacting native commerce. Prison incidents had been down barely in Riverhead in- the primary half of 2020, however the variety of arrests dropped precipitously final March and, whereas arrests have elevated since then, they by no means returned to pre-pandemic — or pre-criminal justice reform — ranges.
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“Issues haven’t rebounded totally from COVID,” Hegermiller stated in an interview Tuesday, after performing a evaluate of division statistics. “Throughout the board arrests are down,” he stated. “Some greater than others. There’s most likely a complete host of causes,” he stated.
Petit larceny arrests had been down greater than some other class, down 85% this 12 months in comparison with 2019, Hegermiller stated. Reported petit larcenies fell 9.5% this 12 months by way of Aug. 30 (398 incidents) in comparison with 2019 (440 incidents.)
Law enforcement officials advised RiverheadLOCAL retailer managers at Tanger and numerous retail shops on Route 58 have been reluctant to press fees towards shoplifters due to the brand new discovery necessities.
DWI arrests are down 35%, the chief stated. “I believe persons are nonetheless Leary of going out due to COVID,” he stated.
Whereas arrests had been down in whole, arrests for sure crimes — extra critical ones, corresponding to theft — remained regular 12 months over 12 months, the chief stated. “Our patrol and detective divisions working collectively are doing an important job,” Hegermiller stated.
City board members hail perceived drop in crime charge
In presenting his public security stories on the city board work periods as soon as a month, the chief has been telling board members that prison incidents have held regular in comparison with 2019. However board members, apparently specializing in arrest numbers, have interpreted the stories to imply crime is down and all 5 have persistently complimented the chief on a decline within the crime charge. He didn’t right their mistaken impressions.
At his presentation on the June 10 work session, Hegermiller reviewed the month-to-month report offered to board members prior to every assembly. “The whole lot’s recovering from COVID so our numbers are method up, in comparison with 2020, final 12 months, and semi up in comparison with 2019.” The chief didn’t specify which numbers he was referring to. Prison incidents had been up 22% 12 months over 12 months (’21 vs. ’20) at that time and arrest numbers had been down 19%, in accordance with the month-to-month stories he had launched.
“Chief, it’s additionally necessary to notice that in COVID and through a lockdown crime throughout many Suffolk counties exponentially elevated, and in Riverhead, they exponentially went down,” Aguiar advised Hegermiller. “And that’s one thing that you have to be happy with, this city.”
Aguiar, in re-election marketing campaign, claims Riverhead crime charge is down
Aguiar, Riverhead’s police commissioner and a former NYC police sergeant, has made a discount in crime throughout her tenure a speaking level in her re-election marketing campaign. “In contrast to different communities, crime charges have dropped,” Aguiar marketing campaign commercials and mail items state.
“Whereas different areas noticed an increase in crime, Riverhead crime charges have dropped considerably,” Aguiar claims in a video posted Tuesday on YouTube.
Experiences of violent crimes (assault, theft, rape, amongst others, as outlined by the FBI) dropped in Riverhead in 2020 from 2019, however rose in 2021, surpassing each 2020 and 2019 (January-August.)
Requested Wednesday to touch upon an evaluation displaying crime charges in Riverhead haven’t really fallen, however arrests have dropped considerably, Aguiar stated, “I didn’t know we had some kind of study on it. I’d like to see it.”
Aguiar falsely claims crime elevated in different cities final 12 months
Crime elevated in different Suffolk cities throughout COVID, Aguiar stated Wednesday. “There was an incredible quantity of shootings,” she stated. These statements aren’t supported by FBI information printed on-line.
Violent crimes reported by Riverhead, Southampton, Southold and East Hampton city police departments and the Suffolk County Police Division (masking the 5 western Suffolk cities) all dropped in 2020 in comparison with 2019, in accordance with the info. There was no report by Shelter Island City Police since 2017.
Property crimes reported to the FBI dropped 12 months over 12 months (’20 in comparison with ’19) within the Suffolk County Police District, Riverhead and East Hampton Cities, however rose in Southampton and Southold Cities.
Councilman Tim Hubbard, a retired Riverhead Police detective, stated he believes the drop in arrests is a “direct fallout” from the prison justice reform laws.
“The size of time with an arrest, the extra work included and being finished for each arrest now, info forwarded instantly to the DA’s workplace and every thing. After which oh, by the best way, I’ll simply provide you with an look ticket for that and so long,” Hubbard stated. “I imply, it’s form of demeaning to be a cop to place all that work into one thing simply to have bail reform, say, it’s no large deal, simply allow them to go.”
He stated the board ought to write a letter to state lawmakers to allow them to know the impacts of the brand new legal guidelines.
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