Picayune Police Department Releases 2023 Recap: Notable Trends and Achievements

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The Picayune Police Department recently published its annual report for the year 2023, outlining key statistics and achievements.

In law enforcement activities, Picayune Police Officers reported 918 arrests in 2023, a notable increase from the 738 arrests in 2022. The most significant rises were observed in drug-related arrests (+106), simple assault (+15), and DUI (+12). Conversely, fraud offenses (-31), shoplifting (-18), and aggravated assault (-11) showed declines. A clarification was made regarding the 2022 arrest figures, attributing the discrepancy to a few duplicated warrant arrests.

Concerning violent offenses, there was an increase in homicides (3 in 2023 compared to 0 in 2022), a decrease in sex crimes (2 in 2023 compared to 4 in 2022), a decline in robberies (1 in 2023 compared to 4 in 2022), and a reduction in aggravated assault (16 in 2023 compared to 27 in 2022).

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The department responded to 17,595 calls for service in 2023, slightly down from 17,898 in 2022. Calls related to suspicious activity (+78), suspicious persons (+61), and suspicious vehicles (+91) showed increases. Notably, there were more building checks (+106) and welfare checks (+118) in 2023 compared to 2022. Conversely, there were decreases in fraud (-80), theft (-44), and domestic matters (-37). Traffic-related calls also experienced decreases, with reckless driving down by 39 and vehicle crashes down by 52.

The department acknowledged the community’s responsiveness to their call to report suspicious activities, attributing the lower crime rates and reductions to the community’s vigilance.

Regarding achievements, the Special Response Team participated in the South Mississippi SWAT Competition for the first time and secured 2nd place. Detectives Jake Petree and Jesse Neumann from the team emerged as the top shooters in the competition.

The department acquired a dual-purpose K9, primarily funded through a USPCA K9 Grant. Cpl Shayne Cunningham was promoted to K9 Handler and attended an 8-week K9 Handler school in Tarboro, NC.

Detective Sean Talley completed all three levels of Accident Reconstruction (6 weeks), enhancing the department’s capabilities in investigating vehicle crashes involving crimes.

In an organizational change, the Neighborhood Enhancement Team and Narcotics Division were merged to form the Special Operations Division, leading to increased capabilities in investigating drug-related cases.