Calls for police to help find runaways from group homes in the city continue at a high rate, keeping officers from other duties in the city, police said.
Three group homes in Haverhill called police 62 times for assistance with runaway residents from April 1 to May 3, a rate of almost two calls per day, according to statistics provided by police.
Of those calls, 42 came from Pathways, a short-term placement home at 4 S. Kimball St., police said.
As the city continues struggling to get the runaway problem at the homes under control, City Council President John Michitson said a meeting to include city and state officials and the operator of the homes is upcoming.
Michitson said he has been coordinating with the state Department of Children and Families and NFI-Massachusetts, the nonprofit organization that operates the group homes on Liberty and South Kimball streets.
The council voted at its April 11 meeting to request a meeting with both DCF and state legislators regarding the homes, which have called city police for assistance with runaway residents 249 times since the start of the year.
The three group homes at the center of the controversy are at 230 Liberty St. and 4 and 31 S. Kimball St. They house boys and girls from ages 12 to 15 and 15 to 18 for both short- and long-term placements.
At that April 11 meeting, Deputy Police Chief Anthony Haugh told the council that of the 187 calls for service the department received from the group homes from Jan. 1 through March 31, 50 percent to 80 percent were related to runaway residents.
Haugh said at the meeting that the Police Department was on pace to receive 704 calls for service from the group homes. He said Thursday that the department is still projected to answer more than 700 calls for service from the homes.
After initially suggesting that DCF and NFI representatives address the council at a future meeting, Michitson said the organizations would rather discuss the group homes in a less formal setting.
"We're shooting for May 10, but we don't have all the confirmations yet," Michitson said before the council voted to send the council president's update to the council's Public Safety Committee.