Crime largely down in Blackwell in 2022- POLICE STATISTICS

by Charles Gerian

Blackwell Chief of Police Dewayne Wood presented the department’s 2022 annual report Thursday night to the Blackwell City Council, along with the bombshell announcement of his plans to retire after 25 years with the police department.

“I would like to first start off by saying thank you to Mayor Jon Webb, the City Council and City Manager Jerry Wieland for the continued support of our department,” Wood said.

“The goal of this report is to provide the public access to information about our department over the last year, focusing on statistics, organizational changes, department highlights, accomplishments and more.” Wood said the department practices community policing.

“I would also like to take a moment to brag about the men and women of this department,” he said.

“The Blackwell Police Department is made up of 911 dispatchers, animal control officers, police officers and a court clerk who all work diligently day and night to serve the community and ensure the safety of our residents. “Our department, similar to most departments across the country, continued to struggle with recruitment and retention. In spite of these challenges, our staff has continued serving as a team, sharing a commitment to something larger than ourselves.”

He concluded his opening statements by thanking the community. “Our police department is fortunate to have a city with a strong history of engaged residents and business owners,” he said. “They work to create a shared responsibility to make Blackwell a great place to visit, work and live. … The cooperation with our community is the secret to our success.”

After the meeting, Wood sat down with The Blackwell Journal-Tribune to break down the 2022 statistics.

As of the report, the Blackwell Police Department employed six dispatchers, a court clerk, two animal control officers, six police officers, four sergeants, two lieutenants, a captain and Chief Wood. Highlights for the year included the department attending Northern Oklahoma College’s career day.

The department hosted a CLEET class at the Blackwell Event Center, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 183 donated basketballs to Blackwell Elementary School.

Sgt. Dylan Landers was voted by Journal-Tribune readers as the Best Law Enforcement Officer in Kay County. Pioneer Technology Center toured the police station, and the FOP Lodge made donations and sponsorships throughout the year.

The city animal shelter was repainted, and the department participated in the annual Fourth of July parade. Turkey donations were made to local families during the holidays, and the department assisted with a raid on an illegal marijuana grow in Braman.

The department participated in an active-shooter drill, and the department apprehended the Grinch during the Christmas parade.


Traffic accidents were down to 65 in 2022, continuing a decline from 83 in 2020 and 73 in 2021.

Assaults saw a surprising spike with 86 in 2022, up from 64 in 2020 and 52 in 2021.

Burglaries were up as well. In 2020, there were 70 reported before dropping to 56 in 2021 and climbing up to 66 in 2022.

DUIs saw a continued plummet.

There were 17 in 2020, nine in 2021 and seven in 2022.

Conversely, public intoxications rose in 2022, with 16 reported versus 18 in 2020 and 13 in 2021.

Drug and narcotic-related arrests took a dive last year, however. Eighty-one were reported, dropping from 106 in 2021. Sixty-six were made in 2020.

In 2020, 60 larcenies were reported. That number dropped to 53 in 2021 but rose to 56 in 2022.

Sex-related crimes rose in 2022 with 18 reported, closing in on the 19 reported in 2020. They had dropped in 2021 with only nine.

Stolen vehicles were down in 2022, however. There were 13 reported in 2022 versus 23 in 2020 and 28 in 2021.

Vandalism surged last year, the report noted, with 58 reports last year, climbing from 30 in 2020 and 42 in 2021.

“Charges like these are not indicative of rampant crime,” Wood said. “One individual can have multiple charges.”

On the whole, total arrests in 2022 were down to 177, their lowest in years from nearly 250 in 2020 and 200 in 2021.

911 calls as a whole were down to 2,947 in 2022. In 2020 and 2021, the numbers were closer to 3,300.

“Numbers like this are going to fluctuate, no matter what,” Wood explained. “One year, you can be up a thousand and then down a thousand the next. There’s simply no metric for it. It’s just part of our operation. We are thankful to our dispatchers for taking these calls and helping to coordinate our police and fire resources.”

Animal control statistics also were presented. Impounded dogs in 2022 numbered close to 400, up from 2021 but nowhere near the nearly 500 reported in 2020.

Impounded cats were down to their lowest in years, with 170 in 2022 versus the 351 in 2020 and 274 in 2021.

Dog bites were up last year to 23, seeing an increase from the 17 in 2021 but still under the 34 reported in 2020.

Adoptions were at roughly 300.