Xenia police are also focusing on addressing homelessness, directing those who want help towards community resources, and enforcing loitering laws where needed.
“People that are homeless in this community, we want to get them help, get them enrolled in any programs we can get them involved in, and those individuals we want to help in that manner. It’s the ones that come here and don’t want help, that want to continue to be an issue for us, that we need to work up or work out.”
Xenia has also had issues with cars doing burnouts and driving donuts in parks and neighborhoods.
Numbers of applicants for officer positions has drastically dwindled across the region and the state. Though the Xenia police department has no currently unfilled positions, recruitment, retention and outreach has become a major focus. Additionally, the department is improving retention by offering additional support for officers already in the force.
“Years ago, in police work, you dealt with everything, went home and sucked it up,” Stutes said. “But officer wellness has been identified because of suicide rates, divorce rates, alcoholism. That’s something we’re focusing on. You have to take care of your people.”
Stutes replaces Chief Randy Person, who is retiring after 46 years with the department. Person will serve as Chief Emeritus of the department until September, working to ensure a smooth transition for the department.
“We get into this profession to help people, and we’re here because of the community,” Stutes said. “Our job is to provide the services to the community that they deserve and expect.”