February 2, 2015

A Message from Chief John D. Doughty

Having been a member of the Department for 31 years I have worked in almost every capacity possible.  But becoming Chief puts you in a unique position because you get credit for every success and every failure.  Most successes are daily and routine to us and go unheralded by the public.  It would be impossible to print every arrest, officer injury in the line of duty, a life saved or property protected. 


We are trying to change that here at the Hammond PD.   We are now using social media to advertise our successes and give credit to the officers involved.  We are praising the hard work and dedication of our officers on our Facebook page; Hammond-Indiana-Police-Department.  I have also started using Twitter mirroring the efforts of the City of Hammond.  Please tune in to find out what our officers are doing for you @johndoughty300

We have received a lot of press this last year also.  Some negative and some positive. 
There is one thing I know about the Hammond Police Department.  There is not an officer here that wakes up, drives to work, and has it in his or her mind that they are going to do something unethical or illegal today, or any other day.  Considering the work load we have here, we generate very few officer complaints.  And of the few we do garner, almost all are proven false.  Every complaint we do receive is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly by our Internal Affairs Office.  And we admittedly do make mistakes.

Since 2011 the overall crime rate is down 37%.  We are very proud of that number because it has come with hard work and sacrifice.  During my administrative tenure we were involved in several Police Action Shootings; three offenders were shot and killed and one of our officers was shot and thankfully recovered.  While crime is down, the number of people willing to assault an officer during the arrest process seems to be on the rise. Two surrounding communities have recently and tragically had an officer give the ultimate sacrifice.  So we must remain diligent and prepared to take defensive action while balancing the need for professionalism and a social connection to our community.

Our Community Affairs division is under new supervision this year and has been tasked with making significant improvements in the way we communicate with our citizens and gain the support of the teenage population.  Great things are happening here.  We are donating resources to groups that work with at risk teens to reduce violence.  Our officers are stepping up in large numbers, donating their time to play ball or have face to face conversations with kids, giving them, and the officer, a chance to form a social bond that will change opinions on both sides.  Coffee with a Cop is up and running.  It’s a great opportunity for any member of the community to have a casual conversation with an officer where they can express any complaints or concerns they may have while building a trusting relationship at the same time.  

Officers that work the beat are attending local crime watch meetings now.  Giving citizens vested in their community the opportunity to personally meet their officers.  Most citizens may not meet the officers assigned to their area unless they call for help.  This is something we would like to change.  Officers are being encouraged to attempt more—out of the car—face time when possible during the course of their tour of duty.

We have many other ideas we hope to implement this year.
Below is a look at our crime stats for the last four years.  While we have made significant improvement overall, we admittedly still have work to do. When you are a victim, that particular crime is one too many and I agree.  But be assured we are dedicated to continued improvement and on the job.
 


Crime

2011

2012

2013

2014

Burglary

1098

1061

694

616

Murder

9

6

9

11

Rape

42

19

26

31

Robbery

133

150

204

137

Vehicle theft

444

355

337

278

1726

1591

1270

1073