Calls for cops, crimes in Carson City very different during pandemic

Sheriff Ken Furlong says the types of calls his deputies are responding to have changed dramatically amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For example, he said, no crimes are involved in the top 10 types of calls.

A large number of the top 20 reasons people are asking to see a deputy are most likely the result of higher levels of stress among people trapped at home or laid off work.

For the period between March 16 and April 3, he said that, contrary to what some other jurisdictions are saying, reports of domestic battery have declined 7 percent in Carson City.

Related to that statistic, reports of domestic disputes have declined 17 percent since the emergency stay at home order was issued.

“There’s been a shift in what we’re going to and how we’re doing it,” he said. “But those people claiming there are domestic batteries all over the place, it’s just not true in Carson.”

There were, however, three domestic battery arrests this past weekend.

But Furlong said types of calls falling completely out of the top 20 are keep the peace, non-injury accidents and DUI calls.

He said DUIs are down, obviously, because all of the bars are closed.

But traffic disputes are up, by 26 percent according to Furlong.

“There are fewer people driving but those driving are vicious,” he said.

Along with the decline in DUIs, he said reports of intoxicated persons are down by 30 percent.

Because of stress, he said suicide threats are up 7 percent but, to date, there have been no actual suicides.

New to the top 20 list are miscellaneous calls and unknown circumstances, calls he defined as, “we can’t even figure out what you’re calling about but we’ll send a cop.”

“Miscellaneous disputes, we’re getting a huge increase,” he said blaming stress.

Welfare checks on the homebound remain the top reason people are calling dispatch, he said. Welfare checks have increased by 34 percent since the March stay at home order.

With many businesses shuttered, he said the calls for passing checks on business properties are up 217 percent, moving from number eight on the list to number two.

The third-highest number of calls are for reports of an unwanted person, up 111 percent. That category was number 10 before the pandemic and Furlong said it’s likely impacted by homeless populations.

New to the top 20 types of calls, he said are noise complaints, which came in sixth in his latest survey. Noise complaints have never been in the top 20 before but they have had 74 since the shut down.

“What you would have absorbed yesterday, you called the cops today,” he said. “That’s stress.”

Holding steady are reports of suspicious circumstances and suspicious persons calls.

Mental health transports, he said, are also new to the top 20.

But reports of suspicious vehicles and intrusion alarms are actually down significantly.

He said his jail population is down about 100 to just 81 and, for the most recent period, overtime by deputies is down 45 percent.

“We’re not arresting a lot of people,” Furlong said.


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