GREENFIELD, Ind. — The Greenfield Police Department has arrested almost twice as many people in the first half of this year as they had in the same period last year.
Overall, Greenfield Police Chief Brian Hartman said it’s an 87% increase in arrests when you compare January to July in 2022 to the same six months in 2021. That breaks down to 291 arrests before July 1 this year and 156 before July 1 last year.
”When people look at the number they get concerned but there are a lot of things that go into those,” Hartman said.
Despite this huge increase in arrests, calls to police barely went up by a single percent during the same period.
Hartman said part of the increase is a result of the pandemic policies. During the pandemic, the Hancock County Jail deferred many people arrested to summons arrests. This means they got a court summons and were released.
”Now all those summons arrests are coming back up for court dates and people are failing to appear in court,” Hartman said. “So now there is a rise in people wanted on a warrant.”
Which the numbers back up. Greenwood PD made 68 warrant arrests in the first six months of 2022. That’s good for nearly a quarter of total arrests.
Hartman said officers have also seen a jump in traffic stops, nearly 750 more were made in the first six months of this year verse the same time period in 2021, good for a 36% increase.
”We have increased our traffic stops, being proactive now results in arrests being made in traffic stops and a lot of those are drug-related charges,” Hartman said.
This is where the bulk of the numbers come in. Officers made 144 drug arrests January through June in 2022. This is nearly half of all arrests.
”We, like every other community, we have a drug problem,” Hartman said. But he said it is something they’re looking to crack down on more.
”We are looking at implementing some different tactics in our narcotics unit,” he said. “So I would imagine those arrests numbers are going to go up.”
We checked in with other local departments to see if arrests were up. Avon PD, Lawrence PD, Noblesville PD and Fishers PD all did not have exact numbers but said they have not noticed any significant trends.
Detective Nate Lien with Danville Police checked out their statistics and found no real change.
”Year after year it really does stay the same,” Lien said.
In the first six months of 2022, Lien said Danville officers made 232 arrests. In the first half of 2021, the officers made 248 arrests.
”Overall our crime, our arrests, have stayed virtually the same and actually come down slightly this year,” Lien said.
Back in Greenfield, Chief Hartman said this rise in arrests is no reason for the Greenfield community to worry. He said numbers should level out soon.
”Hoping next year that you’ll see the numbers go down, I think you’ll see the warrant arrest numbers go down,” he said.
Hartman said Greenfield is dealing with this increase in arrests during an officer shortage every other department is also facing. Although, Hartman said his force is only missing two out of 42 police officers and the 40 on can handle the increase just fine.