Belton Police Department wrapped up 2015 with an expansion of the Police Department, 2,000 arrests, approximately 800 accidents and a large amount of community involvement including the are RU OK program.
Chief Gene Ellis said, “We finished the year with approximately 40,000 calls for service. As of Nov 30, our crime rate as compared to the same time last year was down four percent.”
The Belton Police Department hosted six Coffee with a Cop events in 2015. An event that the BPD plans to continue in the New Year.
“Our CHIPS (Citizens helping in police service) volunteers have donated over 3000 hours of volunteer time in 2015,” Ellis said, “We have now have almost 1600 e-watch subscribers.”
January – Belton Police Department opened a substation in the HEB Center, did a groundbreaking at the main Belton Police Station and started CHIPS class number 6.
February – Lieutenant Larry Berg graduated from the Law Enforcement Command College at Sam Houston State; the first Belton officer to ever graduate from that program. They held a police entrance exam and 95 people showed up. They hired 7 people from that eligibility list due to attrition and because they added two positions.
“We will test again sometime in early 2016,” Ellis said.
On Feb 23, there was an ice storm event in the Belton area which was significant. That was the same time frame that the RU Ok Program topped 100 clients.
March – BPD conducted an annual Warrant Round Up and cleared up 244 warrants. March 8 was an unusual day when happening all at the same time, there was a suicidal subject on Connell that officers spent about two hours negotiating with; it ended peacefully. There was another suicidal subject that stabbed himself in the neck 13 times on 6th and Main, who survived and a drive by shooting event on Surgnor where no one was hit.
“Those all happened at the same time, on the same night within a 30 minute to an hour time span,” Ellis said.
On March 23 the BPD along with the Belton Fire Department handled a fuel spilled that closed North Main street for a time. March 25, a single vehicle fatality accident on I-35. On the following day, the bridge in Salado collapsed.
April – BPD hosted two Coffee with a Cop events and the CHIPS Police Academy number 6 graduated. A significant arrest for 15.5 grams of meth and then on the 17th, Chico, K-9 officer found 28 pounds of marijuana.
“We hosted our first training in the classroom building at our new range facility,” Ellis said.
May – Members of Belton Police Department participated in the One Community One Day event that the city of Belton and the Youth Advisory Commission host.
“We get a lot of joy out of helping people,” Ellis said.
May 19 saw a flood event. and wind damage occurred on May 23 causing the Burger King sign to topple over. On the 27th, Temple Police Department has a pursuit that ended at the Belton Cefco on 6th and Waco rd where there was accidental discharge by a Temple officer but no one was hurt.
June – BPD hosted their annual Youth Police Academy Program for 18 middle school students, the Police Explorer Academy Program and a Coffee with a Cop at Patriot Coney Island. TheExplorers participated at the first ever Central Texas Explorer program. The BPD Explorers placed second overall. The second annual Explorer Academy Program will be held in Belton in 2016.
July – The CHIPS Alumni had their float in the 4th of July Parade and won for the second year in a row they won one of the grand prizes. In 2015 they were best original float and in 2014 they were best overall. The BPD worked a significant burglary at the high school. On July 11, BPD took first place in the first HEB Salsa Contest.
August – BPD arrested several vehicle burglary suspects.
“Which is significant, burglary of motor veheciles is a crime that occurs frequently in Belton,” Ellis said. “They occur because cars are left unlocked. Seldom do we work one because of forced entry”
September – BPD held a joint 911 Memorial Ceremony with the Belton Fire Department and UMHB. The Canine officer, Chico was bit on the back of his calf by a rattle snake while looking for a potential burglary suspect. Chico was out for about a month to recuperate. In partnership with Morgan’s Point Resort, BPD participated in the Senior Expo. They also took part in the Belton Chamber’s Meet Belton event.
October – BPD members participated in United Way Day of Care. Oct 6 was National Night Out celebration and there were 23 block parties.
“One thing we pride ourselves on is, not how many parties we have but that we have one that touches all parts of the community,” Ellis said.
On Oct 9, BPD assisted in another rattle snake call, where they removed a 6 foot snake from a citizen’s porch.
BPD assisted in apprehending a felony suspect.
“October was a sad month because we mourned the loss of Deputy Constable Radford and Chief Allen from Marlin, who was shot working an off duty job in Temple,” Ellis said.
November – Out of the 30 day month, there were 38 burglaries. 18 of those burglaries were cars that were unlocked.
December – BPD is completing their Range Project, Central Texas Regional Training Center. They participated in Christmas on the Chisholm Trail and Christmas on the Farm. The BPD Silver Santa’s delivered over 130 gifts to local seniors to wrap up the year.