2020 was a year a unique year. While most were sheltering at home during the COVID-19 health pandemic, dedicated first responders showed up for duty through it all.
"I would like to say, as we all know 2020 was kind of a unique year. We had to do some things, make some allowances, some changes and things like that, but I would like to just, you know, brag on these employees," Tallassee Police Chief Matthew Higgins said. "We don't have a job that we have the option to work from home."
Chief Higgins explained that rotating shifts wasn't an option like it was in other municipal departments.
"We still had to come in. We still had to go to people's houses. We still have to build a record with people. We still have units going on medical calls, into houses where we know people are positive for the virus."
Since taking the position in 2017, Chief Higgins has publicly shown his appreciation to his officers as he said he would, and he would like the Tallassee community to do the same.
"I would encourage the council and the citizens, if you see these officers, to let them know that you appreciate what they have done over this last year because on top of an already difficult job, we added all that we had to deal with, with COVID, and with businesses being shut down, trying to keep an extra check on things because they were shut down."
Higgins said he thankful for the hard work that the officers and everyone at TPD did this year to keep the department operating during these unprecedented times.
"I just wanted to give props to these officers," Higgins said. "As well as the dispatchers and emergency personnel that have had to come to work through all this."
Chief Higgins delivered the annual statistics report during the Jan. 28 regular Tallassee City Council meeting.
Dispatchers at TPD answered 9844 calls during 2020.
"That doesn't count the calls that come in for medical dispatch for Haynes," Higgins said. "That's a low number just on the medical side."
"It goes to 911 first, and we're going to roll it to where it needs to go," Higgins said.
TPD made 2048 traffic stops last year and made 1345 written reports. There 234 reports for domestic incidents, 206 accident reports. Officers made 11,804 security checks last year, issued 245 traffic citations, and answered 377 alarm calls.
TPD made 202 felony arrests last year and 416 misdemeanor arrests last year. There were six felony juvenile arrests and four misdemeanor juvenile arrests in 2020.
TPD reported 91 felony narcotics arrests in 2020 and 58 misdemeanor narcotics arrests.
Combined TPD made 299 felony arrests and 478 misdemeanor arrests last year for a combined 777 overall arrests.
TPD also closed 151 cases and impounded 46 guns in 2020.
The annual stats report also included last year's narcotic weight totals. In 2020 TPD seized 21,765 grams of marijuana, 1013 illegal pills, 576 grams of kratom, 359.5 grams of methamphetamine, 225.1 grams of cocaine, 6.2 grams of crack, and three strips of suboxone strips. TPD also seized $4,775 of pending currency.
Overall, since 2017, TPD has answered 46,420 calls for service and made 11,261 traffic stops, 6,846 incident/offense reports, 866 accident reports, 26,896 security checks, 742 felony arrests, 2454 misdemeanor arrests, 479 narcotics arrests, closed 696 cased and impounded 304 guns.