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Sheriff tells River Heights council crimes against children are up

April 14th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Lis Stewart

RIVER HEIGHTS—The Cache County Sheriff’s Office saw a county-wide increase in sex offenses, drunk driving arrests, and crimes against families and children in 2010, Sheriff Lynn Nelson told the City Council Tuesday night.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in computer crimes directed at children,” Nelson said. “We’ve put people on that full-time and they’ve had tons of work. It’s really turned into quite an epidemic.”

Nelson said although the CCSO arrested more people for drunk driving in 2010 than in previous years, that number might be higher because the training and expertise of the deputies is getting better.

Despite the higher numbers, Cache Valley is still one of the safest places to live. According to information in presented in the CCSO’s Annual Report, the Part One crimes index statistics for the sheriff’s office is 11.99. Logan City, which has its own police department, is 16.67, and Salt Lake City is 86.47. Part One crimes are serious felonies tracked nationwide by the FBI. Examples include robbery, rape, vehicle theft, and homicide.

Nelson said the reason Cache Valley is always being rated one of the safest metropolitan areas in the United States is due to the low Part One crime rate.

Calls to the CCSO for service have leveled out over the last four years, and that is surprising, Nelson said. “With the economy being down I expected that our calls for service would increase, we would see more problems, we would see more thefts, more burglaries,” he said. “But it’s proven to be just the opposite.”

Typical city crimes like vandalism, juvenile problems, and curfew are all down substantially compared to last year, Nelson reported.

Nelson told the council that CCSO activities in River Heights are at the expected rate. Deputies are responding to calls about 45 percent of the time, and the rest is spent being a proactive presence in the community. According to the report, CCSO deputies had about twice as many calls for service in River Heights than Paradise. In comparison, the number of calls for River Heights amounts to about a fourth of the number of calls for Providence.

Nelson also introduced to the council Lieutenant Brian Locke, who will now head the CCSO Patrol Division. Locke is formerly of the Jail Division.

In other business:

— The council discussed the new shed used to store city vehicles and equipment continued. Mayor Bill Baker presented the council with the tentative cost of a permanent building versus a temporary building. A permanent building would cost just under $25,000 versus $4,000 for a temporary tent-type structure. The council liked the idea of a permanent structure. In order to keep the bid local, the council discussed approving funding out of this fiscal year’s budget for the building. Doors, which would add about $5,000 to the project and go on the 2012 fiscal budget, would be installed in the Fall.

— Public Works assistant Clayten Nelson reported that there were trees damaged from the latest snow storm and said if anyone needs them to be cleaned up to give Public Works a call.


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