Each year, police officials step up their enforcement efforts over the holiday and many drivers find themselves pulling over with flashing blue and red lights accompanying them to the curb. Not so this year.
The year 2009 entered with barely a hiccup to accompany it as police throughout the Danville area kept the peace. Police Chief Chris Wenzel reported that it was a quiet end of the year.
"We really didn't see much," he said. "Our guys were out there, they were watchful."
Police logs from the department show that no DUI arrests were made between 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and 5 p.m. Jan. 1. The California Highway Patrol offices in Dublin and Martinez reported a total of 14 local arrests during that period with two of those stemming from minor injury accidents that were found to be alcohol related.
As is customary, extra Danville patrol officers were out on the road for the evening, keeping an eye out for impaired motorists. During the afternoon, one pedestrian was arrested for public drunkenness but no drivers were found to be under the influence.
"We were out in force and I thought it went well," Wenzel said of the evening. "It looks like we were doing things right."
At the same time, logs show that a number of vehicles were burglarized over the long holiday weekend, a fact Wenzel said is something they are going to continue looking at as the new year unfolds.
"The biggest issue we continue to have are the property crimes. I've been here almost six years and we're still trying to get it out to the public," said Wenzel.
In many cases, vehicles are left unlocked or valuables are left out and visible.
"The hot ticket right now are GPS's. They're mounted on the dashboard, you can take them without damaging them," Wenzel explained. "I know it's kind of a hassle taking it out of the car but it's the safest thing to do. At least get them out of open sight."
Wenzel said the department is compiling end of year crime statistics with an eye toward mobilizing resources to problem areas. He said they are looking at trends in property crime to determine how best to respond, whether it be additional officers on the streets, or a suppression unit of undercover officers.