Recently, he checked in on Ron Bethoney of New England Brass Refinishing on Main Street, the president of the Campello Business Association.
Bethoney said the drop in criminal activity on his block in the last year has been astounding. Before, bullets flew regularly by the area’s establishments, including Garcia Grocery and Tropical, The Italian Kitchen, P & P Soul Food and Barbecue, and M & M Seafood, he said.
“But since the foot patrols? It’s 100 percent better,’’ Bethoney said.
The police have certainly been as busy as ever. According to statistics provided by the department, Brockton police responded to 959 reports of an assault and battery in progress in 2011, compared with 935 such incidents in 2012. There were 3,525 calls asking for help with a disturbance in 2011, compared with 3,854 in Gomes’s first year as chief. There were 14 rapes in 2011, and 9 in 2012. Police received 12 calls for stalking in 2011, versus 3 such calls in 2012.
There were calls reporting 617 suspicious motor vehicles in 2011, and 730 in 2012. Overall, there were 95,085 calls in 2011, and 100,998 in 2012. Of those, 5,462 resulted in arrests in 2011, with 4,375 citations given out that year. In 2012, there were 5,497 arrests and 5,480 citations written.
Gomes was the subject of some hard criticism last fall after a car chase involving officers and a drug suspect resulted in an eight-car rush-hour crash that killed a city woman. Gomes concluded after an internal review that the police officers had followed departmental policy in the pursuit.
Manny Montero, owner of the fish shop and restaurant that caters to the Haitian and Cape Verdean communities, says he feels better about the level of crime.
“I used to have a robbery in my store every other hour, it seemed, and shoplifting,’’ Montero said. “With things like that, you can’t last. But Manny Gomes has turned the city around and made it a safer place.”
That’s what Mayor Linda Balzotti said she expected when she appointed Gomes to the $164,000-a-year job a year ago.
“He has done a remarkable job with all quality-of-life issues,” she said.
Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.