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BPD releases first quarter report

When motorists passing on the Manette Bridge Monday evening called 911 to report a man suspiciously perched on the railing preparing to jump, a police officer was dispatched to the scene, arriving one minute later.

The man, a bearded 47-year-old unemployed Bremerton resident, promptly placed both hands on the structure and pushed himself off, landing in the water 50 feet below.

Fifteen minutes later, police officers converged at the dock at Evergreen Park with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard officers to pull him from the water The man was conscious and responsive and was transported to Harrison Hospital.

The incident was just another example of local law enforcement working together to save lives and maintain safety in the city.

About two to four times a year a person attempts suicide off the Manette or Warren Avenue bridges, according to police sergeant Wendy Davis. Because the U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t have time to respond, the BPD usually works with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to pull jumpers from the water.

“Being an agency of our size, we don’t have a lot of the different resources available, we don’t have a boat,” she said.

Making do with more calls and ever-shrinking resources is something Chief Rob Forbes at the BPD knows a lot about. He just released the first quarter report on calls for service, investigations and training for the department.

The department received 12,419 calls for service between January and March of this year.

Calls have risen drastically over the years for the police department. In the first quarter of 2002, they received 10,664 calls, approximately 21 percent less than in 2004.

“We are just dealing with it,” said Forbes. “We have had those type of increases before. What we have done is we do take phone reports rather show up in person for low-priority calls.”

The largest number came from swing shift, the time when the jumper was plucked from the water, between 2-9 p.m.

Currently, the police department is 75 officers strong, with usually five officers on the shift at a time.

The greatest number of investigations for the quarter fell under the category of forgery and fraud (23), followed by assault (18), rape (14) and (11) robbery. Out of the 14 rape investigations, 11 of them were child rape.

“Child physical and sexual abuse is a frequently crime,” Forbes said. “Children are the most vulnerable part of our society.”

Additionally in the first quarter, the special operations group (SOG) made 55 felony arrests and seized more than $61,000 worth of drugs.

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