By the numbers: Annual police stats, tickets highlight previous year

Staff Writer

Hundreds of people likely are driving the streets of West Point and Clay County without driver’s license or insurance, according to annual statistics from the West Point Police Department.

And officers handle 10 assaults or some kind a month, according to the same report.

Police wrote 1,749 traffic citations in 2018. Of those, 329 were for driver’s license violations and another 269 were for no insurance, according to Chief Avery Cook’s annual report to the Board of Selectmen.

“That’s just the people we stop who don’t have a license. Lots of folks are driving around without one. It’s pretty amazing,” Cook said of the number of license violations his department sees. “It’s a serious problem.”

Overall, speeding was the single biggest category with 337 tickets. Another 222 were written for seat belt violations and 111 were issued for improper tags.

Some of the rarest offenses included driving without headlights (6), failure to signal (6). obstructing traffic (3) and reckless driving (9). Officers wrote 11 tickets for handicap parking violations.

Not surprisingly, the spring and summer months of April through August are the busiest months for tickets with 260 written in April last year, 227 in May, 223 in June, 183 in July and 205 in August.

The numbers drop off dramatically in the other months with March being the next highest at 132. Only 67 were written in November, according to the chief’s wrap-up.

Assaults and disturbances made up the bulk of the 439 misdemeanor arrests made by officers during the year.

Sixty people were charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, 58 others were charged with simple assault, 11 were arrested for simple assault by threat and 13 were charged with telephone harassment.

Meanwhile, 47 more were charged for disturbing the peace, another 35 were jailed for disorderly conduct and 19 more were arrested for public drunkenness, and 25 for malicious mischief.

Petty thefts and drugs weren’t far behind.

A total of 22 people were charged with larceny and 21 more were arrested for shoplifting. Twenty-two were jailed for possession of marijuana, eight more for possession in a car, 14 for possession of paraphernalia and 10 for possession of some other misdemeanor amount of drugs.

Among the more unusual cases were one arrest each for animal cruelty, theft of utilities, false reporting of a crime, carrying a concealed weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Two people were charged with discharging a firearm in the city, , both in September.

Unlike traffic violations, misdemeanor arrests are more evenly spread across the calendar with highs of 50 in December and 49 in June and lows of 23 in October.