visibility key in
crime rate down
For the Platte City Police De-partment, the number of
officers placed on the 30-miles of roadway across the
city and the increased visibility of those officers seem
to be the key reasons for low numbers in the city's crime
According to Police Chief Bill Massock, during the year
2001, the nine patrol officers on duty drove 72,000 miles.
The miles driven by the officers increased by 1,000 since
2000, and 19,000 miles since 1999.
"There's been quite an increase in coverage as far
as officers out on the road and being more visible by
the public," stated Massock. "The officers are
attempting to make themselves more visible throughout
the city on all shifts."
Massock stated that each shift employs three patrol officers,
along with the department employing a detective, an SRO
(school resource officer) and himself.
That increased visibility of the officers in the night
shift has become a benefit not only for residents of the
city but also the business owners.
"In connection to the increased coverage by our
officers, the evening patrol officers have employed a
routine of driving by businesses and checking for open
doors," explained Massock. "The combination
of both of these acts has resulted in fewer burglaries."
Massock stated that during the evening shift, the number
of open doors his patrol officers have found has taken
a dramatic jump from 1999 to 2001. In 1999, officers found
41 business doors left open, in 2000 there were 94 and
in 2001, 113 were found unlocked.
In 2001, burglaries overall decreased by 48 percent from
25 to 14. Massock explained that the profound stats of
burglaries in 2000 was due to numerous cases during the
summer of that year involving juveniles.
"It didn't amount to much in items taken, mostly
monetary items, but it does explain the stats we saw in
2000," said Massock.
One key point Massock is proud of in his department is
the number of warnings issued by his officers.
In 2001, officers issued 1,600 warnings and 828 citations,
compared to 2000, where they issued 1,451 warnings and
"In our opinion, the goal of traffic enforcement
is to control traffic and reduce the number of accidents.
Not to see how many tickets can be written," stated
Massock continued that with Platte City being such a
transient city with I-29 and a major highway running
through the center of town that as vehicular traffic
continues to increase, so will the number of warnings
and citations issued.
In association with the number of traffic stops made
by the department, narcotics stops have also increased
from 36 in 2000 to 50 in 2001.
"As car stops increase, we'll also see the numbers
go up in this area, since most seizures come from car
stops," said Massock.
Massock also explained that the most common misdemeanor
crime in Platte City, stealing under $750, has also been
on a slow downslide over the past few years.
In 1999, the police department received 155 calls compared
to 2001's 124 calls.
"This is also accredited to the officers visibility,
which impacts a lot of things like stealing or crimes
of opportunity," stated Massock. "Our hope is
that with opportunities, there will be fewer incidents."
According to Massock, when comparing the overall statistics
for 2001, he is pleased with where the City of Platte
"When you look at the seven major crimes the nation
chooses to track, we don't have many of those. If that's
the yard stick you to choose to use, then yes we're in
pretty good shape," said Massock.
Those seven major crimes include: homicide, rape, robbery,
assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.
In 2001, Platte City experienced zero homicides, one
rape, zero robberies, 50 assaults, 14 burglaries, 98 larcenies,
and nine auto thefts, Massock said.