Wareham Police Department: a year in review

Jan 7, 2020

Wareham Police logged more than 50,000 calls in 2019, as they fulfilled their duties by conducting vehicle stops, responding to 911 calls, and working to stop and solve serious crimes. 

Police compiled statistics to help the public get a sense of the department’s work during the year. Acting Chief John Walcek said that calls related to drug overdoses and social services are some of the most pressing issues that police deal with in Wareham.

Police received fewer overdose calls in 2019 than in the previous year, but Walcek said that overdoses are still “a very serious problem.”

In 2019, the police department received 116 overdose calls, compared to 162 in 2018.

Walcek cited the department’s involvement in the Plymouth County Outreach program, which fosters collaboration between law enforcement, medical professionals, and community coalitions to address the opioid epidemic, as well as the takedown of a major narcotics supplier in April as contributing factors to the decrease in overdose calls.

“The April 2019 takedown of a major supplier of illegal narcotics resulted in the heroin trade being disrupted in Wareham for several months. In addition, through education and awareness many families have access to Narcan which may have been administered without emergency help being requested,” Walcek Said. 

Although the supplier was living in Fall River, Walcek said that he had ties to Wareham, and Wareham police contributed to the takedown.

Walcek added that “every overdose call is a personal tragedy for a family.” 

Social service calls are another issue that the department responds to “almost daily” according to Walcek. 

“The nature of the job has changed a lot,” he said, as today’s police are now tasked with more mental health evaluations, and suicide prevention efforts than they were in the past. 

Police responded to 601 calls, or reports, dealing with domestic disturbances in 2019.

Wareham’s dispatchers fielded 11,330 911 calls, and 4,846 emergency medical calls were dispatched.

Wareham police filed 2,168 incident reports and documented a total of 1,242 arrests, criminal summons, and protective custodies throughout 2019. 

Detectives applied for a total of 28 search warrants, and officers applied for 96 arrest warrants during the year.

Police investigated 574 motor vehicle accidents, and issued 1,094 motor vehicle citations in 2019.

426 of those citations were issued on Cranberry Highway. Walcek said that this is likely because “it actually stretches the entire length of the community” and is one of the more heavily traveled roads in the town. 

Police processed 633 firearms licenses for the year.

Going forward, Walcek said that the department’s highest priority is “the safety of the residents and visitors to Wareham.”