The Rockport City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 28, received the Rockport Police Department (RPD) 2022 Annual Report, as presented by Police Chief Greg Stevens, as well as a presentation about the RPD’s New In Blue program (see separate story).
“This is the first annual report (the RPD has) put out in some time,” said Stevens. “Our biggest crime issue is property crime.”
In 2022 there were 457 calls for theft and 233 calls for burglary. Reports were filed in only 47% of theft cases, and 59.2% of burglary cases.
In 2022 almost 1,600 cases were assigned to the RPD’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), and of those cases, only eight were serious crimes (i.e. – murder, robbery, rape, sexual assault of a child, etc.).
A ninth serious crime was added since the report was generated after it was determined the young girl who was found dead in an apartment on Live Oak Street in August 2022 had died from a fentanyl overdose, which was determined to be non-negligent homicide.
“In all eight cases, plus the one we’re adding (fentanyl overdose), the victims knew each other,” said Stevens.
“What’s important for me to answer is, ‘What’s the chances of being a victim of a random act of violence?’
“The chances of that happening here are minuscule.”
He noted Rockport itself has a low crime rate, but crime moves through Rockport.
In answer to a question from Councilman Brad Brundrett, Stevens said the RPD clears a high percentage of cases.
“We are mission focused,” said Stevens.
Brundrett asked if the RPD is seeing a lot of repeat offenders of petty crime.
“A few knuckleheads are making it hard on a lot of folks,” said Stevens.
The RPD had 8,889 calls for service in 2022, with 4,937 requiring two or more officers.
There were 1,589 offense reports generated (cases assigned).
Of the 924 alarm calls, 99% were false alarms.
The RPD made 2,897 traffic contacts, wrote 1,585 citations, and issued 3,463 warnings. There were 63 DWI cases, and 187 crash reports, including four fatality crashes.
The RPD operates a 28’ Shallow Sport X3 with twin Suzuki 300 engines. It was purchased in 2021 using an Operation Stonegarden grant.
Nearly all RPD officers have obtained a boater safety certification and a Marine Safety Enforcement Officer certification. Some officers are also certified marine operators.
The boat is used for water rescues, patrolling local waterways, assisting with holiday and event crowds, and ensuring the safety of boaters during fireworks displays.
The RPD also has bike patrol. There are five officers in the patrol division certified to patrol on bicycles.
The RPD also runs code enforcement, with three code enforcement officers who are assisted by sworn offices when necessary.
It operates under two major grants – Operation Stonegarden (OPSG), and Operation Border Star (OBS).
OPSG is a federally funded grant covering officer hours and equipment. Operations focus on international border security and immigration law violations. It is conducted through traffic enforcement on highways in Aransas County, which is considered a travel corridor for human trafficking offenders moving north.
OBS is a state funded grant covering office hours and equipment. Operations focus on Teas/Mexico border security and immigration law violations. Like OPSG, it is conducted through traffic enforcement on highways in Aransas County, which is considered a travel corridor for human trafficking offenders moving north.
Grant hours worked are in addition to each officer’s regularly scheduled shifts.
The RPD participated in 21 different events in the community as part of its community outreach.
(Note: There was a letter to the editor recently citing a website that showed Rockport is overridden with serious crime.)
Stevens encourages the public not to be misled by sites that show crime statistics, noting such sites take numbers and present them in such as way that is not accurate.
“If you have a question, contact us,” he said.
(Note: To see a copy of the full annual report visit cityofrockport.com, click on “Agendas & Minutes”, scroll down to “City Council”, and click on “February 28, 2023 City Council Agenda Packet”.)
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.