5.4 – Comparison of Localities – Law Enforcement
Six (6) towns in Rockingham County each have town police departments. These departments have various numbers of officers, administrative staff, and funding dependent largely on perceived needs. The factual needs are the population served and the annual 9-1-1 calls. As previously stated, each department receives state assistance from the VA Department of Criminal Justice Services «599» Program. The needs, staffing, budget, and grants are included in the table below for the six (6) Rockingham County towns. These can be compared to the current MPOA MPD and an estimated police department for an incorporated town of Massanutten.
|Virginia Locality||Population (2010 Census)||9-1-1 Runs (2009)||Officers||Staff||Budget (FY2010)||599 Grant (2008)|
|Town of Bridgewater||5,644||1,537||9||0||$811,000||$150,068|
|Town of Broadway||3,691||1,289||4||0||$269,300||$69,896|
|Town of Dayton||1,530||1,547||7||1||$689,300||$38,075|
|Town of Elkton||2,726||2,688||6||1||$462,766||$57,695|
|Town of Grottoes||2,668||2,202||5||1||$377,996||$61,318|
|Town of Timberville||2,522||1,120||4||0||$276,576||$48,210|
|*Town of Massanutten*||*2,400*||*3,405*||*10*||*1*||$875,000||$60,000|
The above table shows that in 2009 the MPOA MPD responded to more 9-1-1 calls than any town in Rockingham County. Although Massanutten Village has a relatively small population compared to the other towns, this large number of 9-1-1 responses likely results from the large number of visitors which occupy Massanutten’s timeshare units. This increases Massanutten’s «overnight population» to significantly more than any town in Rockingham County. It should be noted that an incorporated town of Massanutten Police Force would likely be the largest town police force in Rockingham County with the largest budget.
The table below details the number of selected crimes (mostly felonies) for each of the six (6) Rockingham County towns and Massanutten Village during the period of 2007 thru 2010. The number of selected crimes for each town is compiled from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program maintained by the Virginia Department of State Police. The number of selected crimes for Massanutten Village is compiled from MPOA MPD Incident Reporting. Despite the fact that Massanutten Village is a private-gated residential community, the reported statistics show that the number Massanutten Village crimes were commensurate with other towns in Rockingham County. In fact, Massanutten Village is on the high end of number of crimes seemingly driven by the relatively high number of simple assaults/intimidations and destructions/vandalisms.
The relatively high number of crimes in Massanutten Village may be due to the fact that it is a resort-type community with a large number of visitors staying in its roughly 1,230 timeshares. Or, it may be due to the fact that the MPOA MPD has the largest police department which is able to address more crimes. Or, it may be due to the fact that Massanutten Village residents report more incidents because of the expectations of living in a private-gated community. Or, it may be due to a combination of all these factors other than a particular focus by criminals. However, it is important to note that, despite the fact that all Massanutten Village subdivisions are private with no trespassing signs posted, there were only seventeen (17) trespassing charges filed in the last ten (10) years according to a report by the Rockingham County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. This includes trespassing charges on individual private properties (versus in MPOA private subdivisions). The ten year number of trespassing charges in Massanutten is commensurate with other towns in Rockingham County over the same period with Bridgewater having eight (8), Broadway having twenty-two (22), Dayton having one (1), Elkton having thirty-eight (38), Grottoes having seventeen (17), and Timberville having twenty-two (22). The data indicates that Massanutten’s private-gated status does not seem to have that much of an impact on crime.
|Selected Crime Statistics
2007 thru 2010
|Total Selected Crimes||226||111||175||335||265||126||320|
|Other Forcible Sex Offenses||0||2||0||0||3||4||1|
|Motor Vehicle Theft||8||7||4||6||3||2||6|
|Non-Forcible Sex Offenses||0||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Weapons Law Violations||1||2||9||6||3||1||3|
Source of Crime Statistics for Towns: Uniform Crime Reporting Section of the Virginia State Police
Source of Crime Statistics for Massanutten: MPOA Massanutten Police Department Incident Reporting