Admit it. You laughed when the DPD and city officials held a press conference last week urging locals to stop firing guns while bringing in the new year.
"No ... gunfire ... on ... New ... Year's ... Eve," Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said nice and slow in an effort to deter potential derelicts.
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We'll credit Caraway's measured approach for the noticeable silence this year, or perhaps fewer gun lovers were willing to waste a bullet in a down economy. Either way, police received a total of 1,118 calls about random gunfire this New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, including both named complainants and anonymous callers, compared to the 1,762 calls received last year.
Careful readers will note the apparent discrepancy between these numbers and the ones from last week's press conference. The DPD switchboard receives both anonymous complaints and complaints from named sources. Officers are dispatched to answer only the calls from named sources, although they may choose to drive and check out the neighborhood from where the anonymous complaint was filed. But as far as counting how many calls officers specifically responded to, the DPD generally counts the named callers.
Without spending more time trying to understand the DPD's endlessly complicated numbers-reporting tactics, we'll leave you with the department's explanation for the decline.
"A lot of it had to be to the increase in officer presence in the community," says DPD spokesperson Gerardo Monreal. "Knowing the area that people were reporting that there were gunshots being fired, a lot of times officers position themselves in those areas. And again, letting the public be aware that officers were going to be out there and that this is dangerous...The more you bring it out to the public, the more the public responds."