DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It started with a sick uncle who had Alzheimer’s, according to neighbor Shawn McTaggart; then another relative moved in.
The house on Buckeye Street in Miamisburg turned into one of the most turbulent single-family homes in the Miami Valley. Between Jan. 1 and April 3, police had visited the residence 40 times.
The calls ranged from domestic situations, animal bites, breaking and entering, warrants, well-checks, requests for peace officers, and an overdose.
“There was a hostage situation last year,” McTaggart said, who lives on the same street. “But hopefully it’s getting better.”
The house on Buckeye Street was discovered by 2 NEWS while digging into data on police responses during the first three months of 2019.
This data showed where crime was occurring most in Montgomery County and why.
“It’s cyclical and problem areas change”
Sgt. John Thompson started with the Miamisburg Police Department 22 years ago. He’s now the Road Sergeant, meaning he’s also on the road daily.
“You will have a particular address somewhere that starts attracting problem people for whatever reason or they start having domestic issues,” Thompson said.
The residence on Buckeye Street was an example of how quickly a neighborhood can be affected by one residence.
“(Buckeye Street) it took a little bit of time to identify those problems,” Thompson said. “We focus more on those areas, who’s allowing it and what the sidebar issues are.”
The new approach to community policing
Thompson said Miamisburg works with several public agencies when it comes to dealing with re-occurring problems. The department often refers people to adult protective services or other organizations that can deliver help.
In Dayton the commission, police department, fire department and Sheriff began looking for new solutions to the opiod crisis, which peaked in 2017.
Chief of Operations Col. Eric Henderson said taking another approach to policing was needed in wake of the epidemic.
One change – an officer was assigned to follow up on overdoses, contact family members and find treatment. This officer often took people to treatment locations when a bed was available.
“The opioid epidemic opened people’s eyes,” Henderson said. “Much of this problem was over-prescribing medication. We started a mobile crisis response team and we assigned an officer to follow up on overdoses. We have three officers who deal strictly with mental health situations.”
Mental health calls were two percent of the city’s calls through the first three months of the year. The department took it a step further, traveling with an employee of Samaritan Behavioral Health Center, who would ride with officers responding to these calls.
“If we could resolve the issue without this person having to leave their house, we do it,” Henderson said.
Henderson said the epidemic forced Dayton to change its approach to response calls and community policing. In addition to an officer following up with overdose victims, a medic from Dayton Fire Department would also follow up.
“It’s a new approach,” Henderson said. “I think we were one of the first to do it, as far as dealing with opioid and mental health issues.”
The approach meant using all the city and county resources and agencies working together. Henderson said the change meant cooperation between the police, Montgomery County Health, local fire departments, therapeutic courts and drug courts. Henderson cited Major Brian Johns work with the Dayton East End Community Center as an example.
Dollar stores, grocery among retail crime targets
Dollar stores were regular targets of theft in Dayton. Four Family Dollar stores and one Dollar General were responsible for 115 calls for response. Most were for thefts, disruptive subjects, shoplifting and alarm trips.
The Kroger at 1024 Smithville Road had 67 calls, ranging from one call for a person down, four calls for animal bites and seven calls for thefts. The Brandt Pike Kroger had 39 calls for response.
Gas stations were frequent calls for theft. The Marathon and Subway at North James H McGee Boulevard had 57. The Sunoco at Wayne Avenue and Keowee had 34.
Between the eight locations, they totaled .6 percent of the 43,000 calls in Dayton over three months.
Residential Calls: Apartment complexes rank highest for calls
One residence on Oaks Avenue had 55 barking dog and animal complaints the first three months of the year. Animals were also heavily listed as problems at numerous apartment complexes.
Apartment complexes ranked highest in residential areas for police responses. Problems often come from just a few addresses, and those numbers are high due to so many people living in a dense area.
“Apartments are more densely populated,” Henderson said. “If we are responding a lot to individual locations or apartments, we will reach out, go a mediation center. Some landlords are better than others.”
Apartments in Dayton with a large number of responses include (These six apartments account for 1 percent of total DPD responses):
- Wilkinson Apartments on Fifth Street: 133 calls for response
- Jaycee Towers Apartment: 56
- Wilmington Apartments: 49
- Redeemer Community Apartments: 47
- Westdale Apartments on Melba: 41
- Keifer Street Apartments: 28
Police Response: By the Numbers
For medical assist. This meant assisting EMS on a call or responding on scene first. For most communities these were the most common call.
- Dayton: 14 percent
- Harrison Twp.: 11 percent
- Trotwood: 16 percent
- Jefferson Twp.: 5 percent
- Germantown: 8.75 percent
- Miami Twp.: 12.7 percent
- Washington Twp.: 10.6 percent
Theft averaged between 2-3 percent of calls depending on the municipality and were highest in retail areas
- Dayton: 3 percent
- Harrison Twp.: 2.5 percent
- Trotwood: 2 percent
- Jefferson Twp.: 1 percent
- Germantown: 1.4 percent
- Miami Twp. 1.5 percent
- Washington Twp. 1 percent
Drug calls were highest in Dayton but were much lower in suburban or outlying communities
- Dayton: 2 percent
- Harrison Twp.: 1 percent
- Trotwood: 1.3 percent
- Jefferson Twp.: 0.5 percent
- Germantown: 0.5 percent
- Miami Twp.: 0.5 percent
- Washington Twp.: 0.2 percent
|Request Peace Officer||1089|
|Criminal Property Damage||562|
|Request Peace Officer||71|
|Peace Officer Requested||57|
|EMS Medical Assist||123|
|Peace Officer Request||24|
|Police Fire Request||23|
|Theft From Vehicle||8|
|Peace Officer Requested||147|
|Peace Officer Request||131|