FCSO responds to nearly 9,300 calls in 2012; proactive abilities decreased due to higher number of calls

Sheriff Skip Hornecker

Sheriff Skip Hornecker

By Joshua Scheer, reporter, County10.com

(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker has issued his 2012 year-end report. He handed out copies to the Fremont County Commission Tuesday, but did not speak on the issues yet.

“It’s been a pretty busy year,” Hornecker said in an interview, adding that his department accomplished a lot.

In addition to starting video arraignment protocols, closing the juvenile detention section of the county jail, improving communications equipment and upgrading fingerprinting technology, two officers earned top state honors.

“An unexpected, yet extremely significant, event that occurred this past year was two of our deputies received high honors through the Wyoming Peace Officer Association,” Hornecker wrote in his report. “A Fremont County detention deputy received the Detention Officer of the year award and a Fremont County enforcement deputy received the Peace Officer of the year award. Both of these awards are issued annually however two recipients from the same agency in the same year is quite unusual.”

Hornecker has declined to release the deputies’ names for safety reasons.

“I’m pretty proud of our agency,” he said in the interview. “We’re on the forefront on a lot of things.”

Call info:

Last year deputies responded to 9,295 calls for service countywide. That is up from 8,955 in 2011. Deputies issued 1,473 citations versus just over 1,700 in 2011. In the interview, Hornecker said his office is  keeping up with the number of calls and that deputies aren’t missing or neglecting calls due to the increase. “It’s taxing us pretty good,” he said.

“The 2012 statistical data displays a disproportion of the proactive vs. reactive aspects of the agency,” Hornecker wrote in his report. “The overall calls for service increased again for the third straight year (reactive); however the traffic stops, and citations generated through (proactive) patrol efforts have decreased. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office conservative manpower creates less ability to focus on proactive aspects of the agency when the reactive requirements increase. … If the economy continues to improve, and budgetary constraints do not worsen, it is very likely that this functional comparison may balance again within the next two fiscal years.”

He goes on to note that the deputies in Dubois and Lysite were able to be the most proactive in the county.

The Riverton division remained the busiest, averaging nine daytime calls and five night time calls. Lander was second with an average of five daytime calls and two nighttime calls. Calls for services in most of areas of the county increased, though calls in the Lander region decreased 2 percent.

Friday was the busiest day of the week for the last two years, with Monday coming in second. The busiest hour of the day for the last two years was between 1 and 2 p.m.

In 2012 there were 330 “major crimes” reported compared to 283 the year before. There were 134 larcenies (up 39), 10 motor vehicle thefts (down five), 28 burglaries (down 14), 119 assaults (down eight), three forcible rapes (up 1) and two criminal homicides (up 2). Hornecker said he has not identified any trends with the major crimes.

Fremont County Search and Rescue handled 47 missions last year, costing $12,500. In 2011 there were 52 missions costing $34,500.

VIN inspections, animal-related calls and traffic calls all remained the top three calls for service in 2011 and 2012. Burglaries/thefts increased from the eighth highest type of call in 2011 (221 reports) to the sixth highest in 2012 (277).

Speaking of VIN inspections and animal calls, Hornecker wrote, “Both of these call categories require a tremendous amount of time from enforcement personnel. When and if the concerns for revenue decreases, the Sheriff’s Office could increase the proactive aspect of our responsibilities by developing non-enforcement positions for the majority of these two call categories.”

Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately calls increased from 2011 to 2012, 218 to 252. However, Hornecker reported that Driving Under the Influence arrests decreased from 112 in 2011 to 86 in 2012. In the interview, he explained some of the difference between the two numbers. He said not every REDDI report turns out to be an intoxicated driver. Also, other agencies often take over REDDI calls should they enter a municipality. Additionally, Hornecker said part of the decrease in DUI arrests is also due to his officers’ inability to patrol as much due to other calls.

“I would like to think fewer people are driving under the influence,” he said.

Overall there was a 9 percent decrease in traffic stops in 2012 from the year before.

“The Riverton patrol area generated the most citations with Dubois ranking second,” Hornecker wrote. “Lander and Lysite patrol areas generated an equal number of citations this year at 220.”

The sheriff’s office issued 75 new concealed weapons permits last year compared to 110 the year before. In 2012 there were 132 concealed weapon permit renewals compared to 121 in 2011.

Detention and dispatch statistics:

-Fifty percent of all inmates in 2012 were Native American, which is down from 56 percent in 2011. Caucasian inmates increased from 37 percent to 43 percent in 2012.

-The number of inmates housed out of county never surpassed two in 2012.

-Dispatch received 3,079 calls to the 911 center from landlines last year (down 640). More than 13,000 calls to 911 came in from cell phones, which is down from nearly 15,000 the year before. In 2012, 23 percent of calls resulted in calls for service. That is up from 20 percent in 2011.

-Fremont County Dispatch provides services to all local agencies aside from Riverton Police and Fire, which have their own dispatch. Of the calls to County Dispatch, 36 percent were for FCSO, 23 percent for Lander Police, 20 percent for EMS, 6 percent for fire, 5 percent for Wyoming Highway Patrol, 2 percent for Shoshoni Police and .45 percent for the coroner.

The Riverton Police Department has its own dispatch center and is the back-up 911 center for the county.