Police Beat for June

Crimes of the month and police department news and notes

— Below is a summary of my monthly report to the Craig City Council regarding Police Department activity for June.

Crime of the month

Guns-N-Roses: Known as a popular rock band, but could be used to describe some domestic violence issues seen during the month of June. And just when we thought June was the month for wedded bliss.

The department handled several domestic violence calls, including those to assist the Moffat County Sheriff's Office. There was bad and good news with these calls.

The bad: Guns were involved with a couple of the calls. The good: No tragedy resulted with the careless use of firearms. The common denominator: alcohol.

In one incident, an officer was assaulted by an adult female after being arrested for the domestic violence. Yes, alcohol was involved.

Other notable crimes

• Assault: An adult male reported being contacted by two males "looking" for another male.

He recalled inviting them into his apartment about 1:30 a.m. He then awoke around 10 a.m., having been attacked and beaten unconscious by the two males.

He received a fractured cheek and orbital fractures around his eye, several stitches and a concussion. He was also missing several hundred dollars.

The incident is under investigation.

• Identity theft: A resident reported that, upon returning from a trip to Canada, there were several purchases for gift cards that the resident had not made. It appears that someone illegally obtained the numbers on the resident's credit card and began using the card to create more than $2,000 in fraudulent charges.

• Another DUI: A report came in of an intoxicated male urinating in a public place, then entering a vehicle and driving away. An officer spotted and stopped the driver. End result? The subject was driving under the influence and had no driver's license because of at least three previous arrests for DUI. Go straight to jail, do not pass go.

• Dejà vu: The department received a mid-morning call about a suspicious female possibly attempting to break into a home. Officers responded to the area and observed a female known to the department for prior similar crimes. Officers continued surveillance and eventual contact with the female evolved into numerous charges to include burglary, trespass, theft, crimes against at-risk adults, possession of narcotics and violation of bail bond conditions and restraining orders.

Code enforcement

Code Enforcement Officer Becky Otis and Community Service Officer Connie Davis handled the following calls in June:

• Spoke to the owners and red tagged 16 abandoned vehicles. One vehicle was towed.

• Fifty-three weed complaints. Spoke to property owners and brought properties into compliance.

• Three code violations. Spoke to property owners and brought properties into compliance.

• Thirteen junk/trash violations. Spoke to property owners and brought property into compliance.

Call Responses

Because of several factors, including staffing shortages, health, safety and officer availability, the department is changing how and when officers will respond to some types of calls for service. The most notable are:

Found or lost property

• Lost property (i.e. cell phones, wallets, purses, etc.) will be handled by Records Personnel and found bicycles will be handled by Community Service Officers only during business hours 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at the Public Safety Center. Other found property will be handled by patrol as usual.

VIN checks

• If Community Service Officers or Code Enforcement personnel are not working, they will only be done 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the vehicle cannot be legally driven it will be scheduled when Community Service Officers are on duty.

Anonymous noise calls

• If the reporting party is anonymous: When officers drive by the location and there is no noise, they will not stop. If there is noise, officers will ask the involved parties to hold down the noise. Depending on the exact nature of the call officers have discretion on what action will be taken. It is the responsibility of the reporting person being annoyed to file the complaint. Courts have ruled that, with some rare exceptions, an officer's peace cannot be disturbed so the reporting party must participate in the process.

Trespass notices

• Officers will respond if party is present. If not, officer will call and explain to reporting party that if the party returns to call us. We will respond at that time and issue the trespass order.

Dog or Cat Calls

• Dispatch will hold all dog/cat calls where the person has captured the animal until the next day when Animal Control can pick up (if they are not currently on duty), or during business hours for the shelter and ask the person to take it there if they don't want to wait until the next day. When the shelter is closed Sundays, the person will be asked to hold the animal - or release it. This change also is based on having to transport animals in the same area as people, officers being bitten and not having the proper tools to deal with animals. Officers still will respond to all barking dogs and vicious animals. However, unless a dog is vicious, officers will not respond to dog running at large calls.

Miscellaneous

• Officer Mike Edwards volunteered to be the School Resource Officer, effective May 30.

• The department presented Alex Villagrana, Stephannie Balderson and Blake Jajera with 911 Rescue Awards for their efforts in assisting an elderly person who had fallen.

Training notes

• Officer Mike Edwards attended School Resource Officer and Drug Abuse Resistance Education training June 2 to 6 in Breckenridge.

• Corporals Bryan Gonzales and Corey Wagner, and sergeant Brian Soper attended leadership training June 5 and 6 at the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

• Commander Jerry DeLong and I attended the Colorado Association of Chief of Police Conference June 16 to 18 in Breckenridge.

• Community Service Officer Kathie Johnson attended the continuing Crime Scene Investigation training June 24 and 25 in Fort Lupton.

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