In a public security replace to the Georgetown Metropolis Council on Jan. 24, Police Chief Cory Tchida mentioned the division has skilled a rise in calls associated to psychological well being incidents during the last 4 years.
In 2022, the Georgetown Police Division acquired 654 psychological well being requires service, in comparison with 608 in 2021, 565 in 2020 and 314 in 2019. Tchida mentioned the variety of calls final 12 months might be “deceptive,” as a result of it solely consists of calls the place officers knew earlier than arriving to a scene they had been responding to a person in a psychological well being disaster.
“This doesn’t actually even seize the variety of calls the place we’re dispatched to a home disturbance, and the entire motive the home disturbance is going on is as a result of somebody is in a psychological well being disaster,” he mentioned. “We’re not even speaking about these. So this can be a deceptive quantity to some extent and might be a lot bigger.”
Tchida mentioned the council can anticipate funding requests this 12 months to convey on officers devoted to dealing with psychological well being service calls. He mentioned having a such a unit would supply a bonus due to the “comorbid elements that are inclined to exist throughout the homeless inhabitants.”
District 5 Councilor Kevin Pitts mentioned it will be a superb funding for town and police division to implement a psychological well being unit.
Moreover, town noticed 1,088 Half 1 crimes in 2022, up from 996 in 2021. Half 1 offenses embody all kinds of crimes—from homicide to larceny. Of final 12 months’s Half 1 crimes, 89% had been property crimes.
A good portion of these offenses had been automobile burglaries, Tchida mentioned. Out of the 240 autos burglarized, 110 firearms had been stolen out of them, which the division is discovering in different areas of the state.
“We’ve recovered them on the streets of Houston; we’ve recovered them on streets of Austin,” Tchida mentioned.
With 10 vacancies within the division, the GPD’s roster is at 94 of its 104 budgeted positions. Nevertheless, with eight officers on modified obligation attributable to damage or on depart, and 10 officers nonetheless within the coaching pipeline, Tchida mentioned the GPD’s operational effectiveness is at 73%. That measurement will enhance, he mentioned, as soon as the brand new hires are skilled, which might take greater than a 12 months earlier than they can patrol by themselves.
“If we get these individuals via the coaching pipeline and get these individuals again from damage, we’ll be in fairly fine condition,” Tchida mentioned.