Copperas Cove Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman presented the Rotary Club with a breakdown of the department’s latest annual report and stressed the importance of reporting crimes.
Heintzelman is responsible for the dispatch office and the criminal investigations division of Cove PD and has been in the department for about 32 years.
“In 2012, we had one homicide, and we cleared it,” Heintzelman said. “We have a very low homicide rate; this is a very safe community.”
In 2012, the 55 officers of Cove PD responded to 19,742 calls for service. The department also cleared a significant number of aggravated assault cases. Of the 83 reported incidents, 70 were cleared through investigations.
Heintzelman said aggravated assault cases are easier to clear than burglaries or robberies because police usually have more information about the incidents.
“We don’t get as much information these days from neighbors, because they don’t know each other,” he said.
It is important to know at least one good neighbor who can watch your home when you’re away, Heintzelman said.
“I also urge people to report all crimes, no matter how small they may seem,” he said. “It’s important that police keep a record of all crimes, because we may find connections to other crimes later and they may get solved eventually.”
Heintzelman also addressed the reality of financial limitations of police operations.
“I believe any crime could be solved if we had the money, but reality is that we can’t pour unlimited resources into every investigation,” said Heintzelman, who empathized for victims who never get a resolution.
Another finance-related problem Cove PD has experienced is being able to retain officers.
The department invests time and money into training, Heintzelman said, but many officers leave for higher salaries in other police departments.
“It would solve a whole lot of problems if they had more funds,” said Rotarian Fred Harris. “One reason the police don’t get more money is because people aren’t willing to pay more taxes.”