The Reality of Public Safety and Annexation

A question regarding the proposed annexation and the impact on public safety is a valid question, and one that should be examined. Let’s take a minute and explore this issue. 

Let’s explore fire protection. If approved, the new subdivision will receive fire protection by the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD). Some residents questioned at the February Town Board meeting if SVFD could handle the proposed subdivision. Fortunately SVFD Chief Shawn Alkire was in attendance and answered this question. 

  The area served by the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department is vast. A neighborhood of only 110 homes will not present a public safety issue, says Chief Alkire.

The area served by the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department is vast. A neighborhood of only 110 homes will not present a public safety issue, says Chief Alkire.

As the Chief pointed out, SVFD serves more than just the Town of Dayton. Many people are unaware of the large area SVFD serves. SVFD covers Sheffield Township entirely, and a portion of southern Perry Township. Added together, SVFD covers a 54 square mile area. Even more impressively, SVFD covers the 10 miles of I-65 that run through Sheffield Township.

Chief Alkire said it best that adding a 110 family housing addition is a “drop in the bucket” as to what the SVFD handles. Fire protection is not an issue. The green spot in the map of Sheffield and Perry Townships in Tippecanoe County is the area of the new neighborhood. It is clear to see that Chief Alkire’s remarks are accurate.

Dayton Police Department (DPD) Marshal Scott Taylor has publicly stated that the proposed subdivision will not diminish the service DPD provides. The 2016 Dayton Police Department end of year activity report supports this statement. Consider the following:

DPD logged 5,348 calls for service in 2016. A call for service includes everything DPD does from responding to crimes, traffic enforcement, juvenile problems, business/school checks, ordinance enforcement, and administrative duties. 

5,348 calls seem like a lot for a town of 1500 residents. However, to get a true picture of our crime rate, we need to categorize the calls into two areas that affect the residents’ quality of life. Those two areas are Crimes Against the Person and Crimes Against Property, and fortunately they are low in Dayton.

Dayton experienced the following number of Crimes Against the Person in 2016:

Battery: 9
Domestic Battery: 14
Harassment: 16

The following Crimes Against Property were logged in 2016:

Burglary: 7
Criminal Mischief: 11
Theft: 12

These are low numbers and affirm that Dayton is a safe place to raise a family. 

Crimes Against Persons and Properties

Crime is very low when compared to the number of residences in Dayton.

The past numbers for Dayton are great, but what about the future? What should we expect if the proposed subdivision is approved? 

The best way to predict this is to look at a similar neighborhood in terms of lot size and socio-economic status. For this we chose to look at Waterstone in Lafayette. 

  Not everyone in Waterstone drives a big sedan. Many drive SUVs.

Not everyone in Waterstone drives a big sedan. Many drive SUVs.

Waterstone is a 164 home neighborhood just south of Veterans Memorial Parkway.  The lot sizes and home design/price range are similar. Again, the proposed neighborhood in Dayton is 110 homes. 

During the last six months, the Lafayette Police Department has fielded three reports in this subdivision: 1 battery complaint, 1 criminal mischief complaint, and 1 theft complaint. These are very low numbers. 

It is our belief that the proposed annexation will experience the same low crime rate that Dayton, and a like subdivision, experience.

But don’t take our word for it. Trust the opinion of both the Dayton Marshal and the Sheffield Fire Chief. 

Sources:

  • Town of Dayton
  • Dayton Police Department
  • Crimereports.com
Dave Leininger2 Comments