MPD police vehicle car

Maricopa police used force in 24 incidents last year, just .16% of the 15,025 calls for service, according to the department’s 2020 Annual Report.

In those two dozen incidents, a total of 50 types of force were utilized – either due to multiple officers using force at the same incident, multiple citizens involved in an incident and/or because additional levels of force were necessary after an initial level of force was not effective. When an MPD officer uses force, the officer is required to submit a comprehensive report.

The report provided the following breakdown:

• Impact device: 1
• Hard empty hands: 2
• Display of an electronic control weapon (Taser): 2
• Use of an electronic control weapon (Taser): 5
• Chemical agent: 1
• Less lethal shotgun: 1
• Takedowns: 13
• Display of a firearm: 25

The city saw a reduction of serious Part 1 crimes like homicide, rape and aggravated assault, but a huge spike in property-related crimes, according to the report.

There were no homicide cases in 2020, compared to a single case in 2019.

Four forcible rapes were reported in 2020, down from 11 in 2019.

The number of aggravated assaults fell slightly, from 57 in 2019 to 54 in 2020.

The total number of property crimes – robbery, burglary, theft and car theft – rose from from 612 in 2019 to 928 in 2020, a nearly 52% increase.

Nine robberies were reported in 2020, more than twice the four reported in 2019.

Burglaries in 2020 numbered 75, compared to 59 in 2019, a 27% increase.

Thefts climbed from 492 in 2019 to 782 in 2020, a 59% increase.

Vehicle thefts climbed about 8% year over year, with 62 reported in 2020 compared to 57 in the previous year.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic brought economic hardship to some in the city as residents were under a stay at home order for several months and many businesses suffered, with some people losing their jobs as a result.

Last summer, police had already reported a spike in arrests for theft, including shoplifting which ranged from the more typical electronics and higher ticket items to a growing number of less-typical household items, including food, clothing and cleaning supplies. At that time, police blamed the spike on the economic downturn and rising unemployment levels brought on by the pandemic.

“We are honored to serve the great citizens of Maricopa,” said Sgt. Hal Koozer, MPD spokesman. “The men and women of the MPD, both sworn and civilian, worked hard in 2020 with all sorts of new challenges. We are proud to announce crime is down. We appreciate the support of our City leadership and of course the citizens we serve.”

A few other statistics from the 2020 report:

• The overall clearance rate, or the rate at which offenses are “solved,” for 2020 was 21%, ranging from 87% clearance on aggravated assaults to 0% clearance on rape cases. In general, a smaller percentage of the property crime cases were cleared, ranging from 44% of robbery cases to 16% of burglaries.

• Police dispatchers handled 65,347 calls in 2020, a 4% decrease from 2019, with 16,810 of those to 9-1-1, with non-emergencies the remainder. Emergency calls, however, were up nearly 4% from 2019 to 2020.

• Emergency response times, on average, were 6.6 minutes in 2020, down from 6.8 minutes in 2019. Non-emergency response times, on average, were 26.7 minutes in 2020, down from 31.3 minutes. A stated department goal is to maintain emergency response times under five minutes and non-emergency response times to under 25 minutes.

• In 2020, MPD officers issued 3,580 citations to motorists and pedestrians in an effort to meet the overall goal of reducing collisions with injuries. There were 578 collisions in the city with 69 resulting in injury.

• MPD had a $12.1 million budget in 2020, with 69% for operations and control ($8.3 million), 21% for support services ($2.7 million) and 10% for administration ($1.2 million).