Calls for service vs. incident reports

Published 7:48 pm Friday, June 15, 2012

As the Washington Daily News continually evolves into an all-local-news, all-the-time newspaper, we’re reaching out to various offices in the community asking for information that both directly and indirectly affects Beaufort County residents.

Primarily among the public records we began printing Friday are incident reports from local law enforcement agencies: police departments in Aurora, Belhaven, Chocowinity and Washington, in addition to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

If you happened to have taken a few moments to peruse those records Friday, you would have seen a blatant discrepancy in the number of entries generated by the Washington Police Department. Its number was staggering.

What we printed from the Washington Police Department, however, was every call for service to which police responded from June 1 through June 7, regardless of whether a report was generated, in comparison to incident reports exclusively from the other law-enforcement agencies — a bit of apples and oranges, if you will.

While the oversight was ours, the inclusion of all of the WPD’s calls for service made for some rather interesting reading as it paints an accurate picture of what the local men in blue do, not just on a daily basis, but broken down even more to a minute-by-minute basis.

If you’ve ever wondered what services the Washington Police Department provides for and in the community, we encourage you to pick up Friday’s paper and have a look at six days’ worth of the agency’s calls for service. It’s an eye-opening experience.