The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Commission talks crime with new IPSD director


January 23, 2018


IronwoodIronwood City Commissioners offered some input to new Ironwood Public Safety Department Director Greg Klecker after he reviewed 2017 crime statistics at Monday's regular meeting.

Klecker said the department received 3,751 calls through 911 and for general service. He said 335 criminal or violation-type calls were responded to, or 9 percent of the total.

A total of 91 percent of the calls involved civil complaints or those that didn't result in crimes.

IPSD officers wrote 300 tickets and responded to 47 fire calls, with 19 false alarms.

Domestic violence incidents, as reflected in more than 70 non-aggravated assaults, topped the list of complaints, with drug violations second at around 45.

Overall, Klecker said crime in 2017 was slightly up from 2016.

“These charts will help us get an understanding on the types of calls we're responding to,” he told commissioners.

He said he'll study the data to determine how it relates to performance.

Klecker said domestic violence calls are often the most dangerous, since they can involve fights that are in progress, with officers stepping right in the middle. “We try not to have an officer respond alone,” he said.

There was general consensus among commissioners that the drug problem persists and needs attention.

Ironwood is “blessed” to have the Gogebic-Iron Area Narcotics Team, headed by IPSD Sgt. Matt Sterbenz, Klecker pointed out. He said GIANT, working with Gogebic County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Jacobs, has nearly a 100 percent drug conviction rate. Klecker said that's sending a message to drug dealers.

Commissioner Jim Mildren referred to domestic violence situations that might be prevented by counseling when he said, “I wish we had more ways to help people before law enforcement steps in.”

Klecker said the IPSD has done well in its active shooting training through the schools and will continue to do so.

Mayor Annette Burchell said she'd like to see more education through the IPSD as a “preventative” tool and Klecker said that's a goal of his.

Klecker will meet the public at Contrast Coffee Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m.

In other business Monday, Burchell appointed Amy Nosal to the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority and John Brottlund to the parks and recreation committee. Both appointments drew praise from commissioners.


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