Pubdate: Fri, 05 Apr 2002
Source: Brighton Pittsford Post (NY)
Copyright: Brighton Pittsford Post 2002
Author: Jennifer Wedow


Domestic Violence, DWI Arrests and Traffic Accidents Also Increased, 
Brighton Police Report

Reports of drug sale and possession in Brighton were up 133 percent during 
2001, according to the Brighton Police Department's annual report released 
last week.

In 2001, 35 incidents involving the sale or possession of a controlled 
substance were reported, up from 15 in the previous year.

Chief Tom Voelkl said the increase is partially a result of increased 
enforcement by the police.

"These numbers represent an earnest effort on behalf of the officers," 
Voelkl said.

Brighton is also member of the Multi-Agency Drug Task Force, comprised of 
officers from Irondequoit, Greece, Webster, Fairport and East Rochester. 
Last year, the task force investigated 44 cases and made 50 arrests, 
according to the report.

Voelkl said the department also joined other joint enforcement agencies, 
some in light of the terrorist attacks in September.

"We've allocated resources for JTTF (the federal Joint Terrorism Task 
Force) and NYSOPS (New York State Office of Public Security) in the 
aftermath of Sept. 11," Voelkl said.

He added that Brighton police officers were trained in how to respond to 
threats of biological and chemical warfare last year in response to the 

"We've learned quickly and addressed all those issues," Voelkl said.

Overall calls for service to the police department decreased by less than 1 
percent in 2001, to 35,943 from 35,969 in 2000, according to the report. 
Arrests totaled 381 in 2001, up 14 percent from the previous year.

Reports of domestic violence were on the rise in 2001. There were 383 calls 
for domestic disputes last year, up from 332 in 2000. Eighteen of those 
calls resulted in an arrest and criminal prosecution.

Voelkl said the department began breaking down statistics of domestic 
violence three years ago and is beginning to look at trends in the number 
of domestic disputes.

"There was not a commensurate increase in arrests," he said about the rise 
in calls for domestic violence. "It's something we'll be looking at (this 

Brighton police stepped up their enforcement efforts for driving while 
intoxicated, resulting in a 69 percent increase, from 59 arrests in 2000 to 
100 arrests in 2001.

"The goal we set for this year was to increase (DWI arrests) by 50 
percent," Voelkl said. "DWI arrests were declining over the past several 
years, so we undertook strategies to change that."

Those strategies included increasing checkpoints in target locations during 
peak hours for DWI offenders, he said.

The department also wrote more traffic tickets in 2001 as compared to 
previous years.

While the number of traffic tickets given by Brighton police increased 18 
percent, from 3,670 in 2000 to 4,329 in 2001, the number of traffic 
accidents and people injured in auto accidents increased. According to the 
report, car accidents rose 2 percent, from 1, 492 to 1,518 over the year 
period, accompanied by an increase in the number of accidents with injuries 
and the number of people injured in each accident.

Voelkl said the department will focus on more targeted traffic enforcement 
and patrol areas where accidents most often occur.

"If we're going to write tickets, we want to do it in a place that makes a 
difference," he said. "It's going to be one of our challenges for this year."
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