Park County Sheriff: More Calls in 2020, Fewer Calls Overall

Park County Sheriff: More Calls in 2020, Fewer Calls Overall

Written by on February 9, 2021

The Park County Sheriff’s Office was busier in 2020 than in recent years past, but calls have significantly declined over the past 10 years.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office has released their 2020 Annual Report. All of the year’s statistics for crime, calls, and achievements are outlined in the 29-page document.

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward opens the report with a brief message, summarizing the highs and lows of 2020.

The men and women of the Park County Sheriff’s Office continually face new and defining challenges as they strive to provide service, safety, and security for our citizens, but nothing could prepare anyone for 2020. Along with an increase of functional activity from 2019, the staff faced the turmoil and uncertainty of COVID-19. Regardless of the chaos surrounding the word, our personnel continued to perform at an exceptionally high level with compassion, professionalism, and commitment.

In 2020, there was a total of 10,865 patrol incidents. 2020’s total was higher than 2019’s, and the highest number of patrol incidents since 2015.

However, the numbers are still part of a consistently lower number of patrol incidents reported over the past six years.

Park County Patrol Incidents (2010-2020)

Courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office

2012 was the recent peak, with 17,584 incidents report that year alone.

Amongst those patrol incidents, The Park County Sheriff’s Office recorded the following totals in 2020:

  • 216 arrests (51 felonies, 165 misdemeanors)
  • 504 new warrants received.
  • 472 warrants closed.
  • 1,440 case investigations (105 for accidents, 348 criminal, 982 non-criminal)
  • 1,413 traffic stops, with 313 citations issued.

Some interesting 2020 highlights include 43 “911 Hang-Up” calls, five runaway kid calls, four littering calls, and four noisy animal calls.

Also, there were 32 “Body Found” calls . . .

2020 also continued a downward trend in the average number of inmates held throughout the county. On average, there were 29 inmates in Park County in 2020 – the lowest number in the last decade.

Park County Average Inmate Population (2011-2020)

Courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office

There also nine “use of force” incidents in 2020, where a detention deputy utilized force against an inmate for noncompliance. That could mean anything from a wristlock to the use of non-lethal weapons like pepper spray or a taser.

Numbers were also down for the Park County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division.

The Communications Division hands call for several county agencies including the Park County Sheriff, the police and fire departments of Cody, Powell, and Meeteetse, and the Cody Regional Health Ambulance.

In 2020, there were a total of 23,401 service calls to the Communications Center – down nearly six percent from 2019. Almost half of those calls – 46% – were placed specifically to the Park County Sheriff’s Office, another 40% placed to the Cody Police Department.

Special accolades were extended to the Park County Search and Rescue Team. In addition to their usual daring assistance calls last year, the team officially dedicated the Kirk Waggoner Search and Rescue Building, in honor of the team’s founder, celebrating their 50th anniversary.

In 2020, the volunteer team of 30 to 35 members responded to 29 service calls – 13 more calls than in 2019. Sheriff Steward praised the team, saying they “performed at an exceptionally high level” and they bring added value and strength to our community.

Local law enforcement stayed busy in 2020, but years-long trends show Park County continues to be a consistently safe and relatively quiet place: fewer calls, fewer inmates, and more safety for its residents.

Sheriff Steward ended his comments with an optimistic note, promising more communication as Park County moves into 2021.

Despite the tumultuous and inconsistent year, our personnel remained committed to our mission to ‘promote public trust and provide service, safety, and security to those we are sworn to serve.’ In 2021, we will continue our promise to keep you informed regarding criminal investigations, safety programs, community outreach, and general information regarding Park County and the activities of your Sheriff’s Office.”

You can review the 2020 Annual Report and the reports from previous years on the Park County Sheriff’s Office website.

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