Sheriff looks for ways to beat crime: Furlong asks community to take proactive part
By using overtime and grant money, Sheriff Ken Furlong intends to head off a 15 percent increase in crime that internal department statistics indicate comes with warmer weather.
Furlong, whose penchant for statistics has him charting activity throughout the department, pointed out last week that Carson City sees a double-digit increase in calls for service in the summertime.
“In an effort to curb the traditional increase in crime, accidents and injuries during the summer months, the Sheriff’s Office is announcing an initiative titled, ‘101 Days of Summer Safety,'” said Furlong.
From June 1 through the week of Sept. 9, there will be an increase in the number of patrol deputies on the streets, said Furlong.
“Summer months bring out large groups and families enjoying the warm weather and summer activities,” he said. “In 2010 that increase in festivities also resulted in 15 percent more calls for the police than the normal monthly average all year long.”
Furlong said he’s tasked each division with finding problem areas and increasing patrols there.
More officers will be visible in problem areas, such as at Chimney Beach (part of Carson City) along Highway 28 in the Spooner Summit area where a number of vehicles are burglarized each summer, or in the downtown corridor of the city when the bars are closing and young adults are finding themselves in various forms of trouble.
But in addition to increased visible patrols, undercover officers in unmarked cars will be on the roads as well.
Chief Deputy Ray Saylo pointed out that the unmarked units and officers will be focusing solely on property crimes, burglaries and graffiti and will not be out looking for traffic offenders.
Furlong said the initiative came about as a result of a recent city study in which a majority of Carson City residents said they “always” feel safe.
“Those people who feel they are always safe often fall victim to crime,” he said.
He said while he’s glad people feel safe, that comfort can translate into unlocked homes and cars, or a hesitation by people to call police when something seems off.
So in addition to an increase in officer patrols, he’s asking the community to step up with there own efforts by locking up property, securing homes and vehicles, and calling non-emergency dispatch at 887-2011 when something seems suspicious.
“Already in 2011, the Carson community has felt tremendous declines in overall crime reports. In February of this year reported incidents fell to their lowest in eight years,” he said, but, “… we can do better. Now is the time increase our efforts and set the tone for a great year.”