Mar-Mac police chief shares 2018 statistics

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Mar-Mac Police Chief Robert Millin presented the law enforcement district’s 2018 annual report at the Jan. 16 McGregor city council meeting. On the job since October, he admitted compiling the details was a bit difficult.

“I experienced many challenges to provide the most accurate representation of the police district’s activity in 2018,” he stated. “Some of those challenges were insufficient data and an outdated filing/record system.”

So far, Millin said he’s worked hard to implement “various duties, responsibilities and procedures to transition this agency into a transparent, accurate and effective police agency for the cities of Marquette and McGregor.”

The latest U.S. Census records place McGregor’s and Marquette’s combined population at 1,295 people. However, said Millin, due to the police district’s geographic location, in close proximity to Prairie du Chien, local employers, tourist attractions and a state and federal highway, that population swells each day.

For example, noted Millin, U.S. Highway 18 in Marquette has a daily traffic count of 5,514 vehicles, according to 2017 Iowa DOT statistics. For State Highway 76, coming into Marquette, the count was 3,384. In McGregor, just over 2,500 vehicles enter the community each day from State Highway 76, while another 1,400 arrive via Walton Street.

In 2018, the Mar-Mac Police had 3,402 calls for service, which Millin said was a drop from 3,970 in 2017. He warned the department was short-staffed throughout much of the year, though, and that a full force could have added a couple hundred calls to that total.

McGregor had more calls for service, at 1,582, compared to 1,128 for Marquette. Millin said the department also responded to 692 calls for service outside the 3.11-square-mile area it normally patrols.

Mar-Mac Police had 39 total incident reports in 2018, an increase from 31 in 2017. In the past five years, the total peaked at 56, in 2014. According to Millin, incident reports are generated when a crime has occurred or when officers need to collect additional, specific information at a call for service.

Last year, he said the incident reports were most commonly related to animals at large, possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In 2018, the department filed 52 criminal complaints—48 adult and four juvenile. That’s a slight increase from 42 criminal complaints the previous year

The top criminal charges were possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, OWI, assault and theft, Millin reported.

Mar-Mac officers initiate traffic stops for those who violate traffic laws or have vehicles with defective equipment. In 2018, those stops resulted in 301 warnings and 158 citations. That’s a change from 2017, when 403 warnings were issued, but only 72 citations.

The department had 38 total accident reports last year, up from 28 in 2017.

On Oct. 16, in another effort to make the communities safer, the Mar-Mac Police participated in the semi-annual national Drug Take Back Day, collecting 30 pounds of medication from local residents.

If you would like to learn more, Millin said the annual report will be available on the department’s website, at www.marmacpolice.org. Residents can also see the information and ask questions in person on Thursday, Jan. 31, when the Mar-Mac Police hold a meet and greet event from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Marquette Community Center. This will also give people an opportunity to become acquainted with Millin and officer Marcus Ploessl.

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