There were more criminal arrests, but fewer borough ordinance violations, in Point Beach this summer compared to last summer.
There were 42 percent more criminal arrests, which are arrests for the more serious offenses, this summer, when there were 431, compared to last summer, when there were 304, according to data supplied by the Point Beach police department (see attached PDF).
There was a decrease of nearly 33 percent in the number of borough ordinance violations this summer, which was 852, compared to last summer, when there were 1,270, according to the data. (The PDF says 37 percent, but that number has since been corrected to about 33 percent.)
The way the numbers play out in the final analysis is no surprise to anyone who works for the police department, the mayor and council members, who were getting reports from the police every few weeks, and those who have regularly attended council meetings where those reports were read by Councilmember Bret Gordon, the council's police department liaison, and discussed.
The pattern of fewer ordinance violations, but more criminal arrests, showed up regularly in the reports throughout the summer.
In response to council questions about why the number of borough ordinance violations may be down, Police Chief Kevin O'Hara has said that one reason might be because the police have been spending more time processing those arrested on criminal charges, which means they spend less time on the street issuing the violations for lesser offenses.
Criminal arrests require processing such as fingerprinting, photographing, filing reports and doing other paperwork in the police department in Borough Hall on New Jersey Avenue.
From the week of Memorial Day to the week of Labor Day, the number of criminal arrests this year were 431, compared to 304 last year and 310 in 2010, according to the data.
The number of borough ordinance violations were 852 this year, 1,270 in 2011 and 770 in 2010.
The number of motor vehicle accidents were 373 this year, compared to 216 in 2011, or an increase of 73 percent.
The number of first aid calls were 544 in 2012 and 432 in 2011, or an increase of 26 percent.
The number of PATS System parking tickets, which does not include the hand-written tickets, was 9,607 this summer, down from 10,770 last summer, for a decrease of about 12 percent.
PATS tickets are generated by the hand-held ticket computers used by parking enforcement officers, O'Hara explained. The hand-held ticket computers generate an almost plastic-like paper ticket.
The police department does not maintain running totals of the handwritten tickets. Patch will follow up by asking the municipal court for that information.