Falmouth police: Evidence points to adding detective

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FALMOUTH — The Police Department hopes to add another detective to its workforce, but the proposal isn’t necessarily a response to increased crime.

Rather, the new detective would help sort out an increase in evidence.

Security cameras and other digital devices have increased the solvability of crimes, according to Lt. John Kilbride. Just a few years ago, the department solved roughly 11 percent of reported crimes. Today, the clearance rate is closer to 50 percent.

“There are a lot more leads now,” Kilbride said.

Not long ago, cases would go cold quickly for lack of leads. Now, evidence is everywhere, Kilbride said.

“We’re able to go through every case and really exhaust all possibilities,” he said. “Cameras are everywhere. Everyone’s got video. You just have to go find it and review it. Even private homes have video.”

The department now has one detective. The decision about whether to add a second is up to the Town Council during the upcoming budget process.

The new detective would also help with an increase in Internet crimes and improve victim relations, which Kilbride said is a priority for the department.

Ideally, the department hopes to promote one of its existing officers to the detective position and hire a new officer. The department has already posted the position on the town’s website.

The department is looking at candidates with or without previous police experience, Kilbride said.

“We’re going to find the right candidate for the community,” he said. “If we have to send someone to the (police) academy, that’s what we’ll do.”

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.