The Grandview Heights Police Department hopes a new hire and an internal move will lead to fewer unsolved crimes in the city.

The Grandview Heights Police Department hopes a new hire and an internal move will lead to fewer unsolved crimes in the city.

The department plans to add a second officer to its detective bureau later this year.

The city's 2017 budget includes an allocation to allow the department to add a new police officer; once that person is in place in the field, another officer will be promoted to detective, said Police Chief Thomas McCann.

"We've seen an increase in the percentage of cases we're solving and we would hope that adding another detective will help boost that rate even further," he said.

It will take about three months for the newly hired police officer to undergo the training on all shifts before being assigned to his or her own patrol, McCann said.

The second detective should be in place by mid-year, he said.

The department currently has 18 police officers -- including the chief -- with one officer assigned full time to the detective bureau, supervised by Sgt. Ryan Starns.

Starns assists the detective and patrol officers occasionally to provide support to crime investigations, McCann said.

"Having another person working as a detective will help free up our patrol officers to concentrate on working the streets," he said.

While the numbers for 2016 aren't yet final, the percentage of cases solved by the detective bureau was about 63 percent, McCann said.

"We're seeing more cases getting solved and the detective bureau is also handling a larger number of cases than before," he said. "Part of that is a reallocation of our staffing and it's also due to a greater emphasis we've been putting on investigating crimes."

About half of all cases have led to arrests, McCann said.

"In some instances, we solve a case, but the victim for whatever reason decides not to press charges," he said.

The detective bureau investigates all major crimes, including thefts and violent crimes, McCann said.

"One of the things I'm looking forward to once we have the second detective in place is to allocate the detective duties and have them go through some additional training so each could specialize in different areas," Starns said. "Perhaps one person would focus on large property crimes while the other would investigate violent crimes against individuals."

One crime the department remains committed to solving is the 2013 murder of Jennifer Cooke, McCann said.

"It's always good to have a fresh set of eyes to revisit a case and see if there's something we may have missed," he said.

In addition to adding an officer to the detective bureau, the department also expects to connect later this year to a computer-aided dispatching system operated by Dublin police.

Under an agreement, the two departments will continue to maintain their separate and individual dispatching operations, but will be connected to the same system, Starns said.

"We won't know what they are doing and they won't know what we're doing," he said.

Grandview will purchase software to connect into Dublin's system, Starns said.

"That will cost us about $157,000, which is a lot less than the $750,000 to $1 million it would cost to buy and install our own system," he said.

Dublin will maintain the system and Grandview will contribute about $10,000 annually to support maintenance, Starns said.

The "all-in-one system" will allow Grandview police to streamline officers' filing of incident and crash reports and recovered property records, he said. Those and other tasks currently are completed over a multitude of systems.

"It will also make our dispatching more efficient because the system has (GPS), so we will be able to see where each of our units are located and send the one that is closest to the location of an incident," Starns said.

Grandview expects to be connected into Dublin's system by mid-year, he said.

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