The Gila County Sheriff’s Office had a shocking rise in its activities in Star Valley from 2018 to 2019.

Comparing the recent annual activities report for 2019 from the sheriff’s office to those in 2018 — last year the GCSO made 2,024 reports in Star Valley, while in 2018 deputies took 260 reports. There were 2,526 calls for service in 2019 and 2,045 in 2018.

The increase in reports occurred after the town requested the GCSO patrol the area more.

The Town of Star Valley contracts with the GCSO for its law enforcement services. It paid the GCSO $444,127 for the services for fiscal year 2019-20 and has tentatively budgeted the same amount for FY 2020-21.

“The increase in calls is most likely the increased emphasis on patrols and business checks in Star Valley by the deputies,” said Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd.

He added, “The increase of traffic-related stats was most likely due to our use of Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grant funds for extra patrols. As you know there is a great concern for traffic issues in Star Valley and we tried to utilize the money in an effort to combat them.”

In 2018 the GCSO issued 149 citations and dealt with 51 collisions; in 2019, the total number of citations was 241 and deputies dealt with 130 collisions.

“We asked the sheriff’s deputies to spend more time on traffic control and more time in Star Valley,” said Star Valley Town Councilor Bobby Davis. “GCSO has increased traffic stops and are more visible in Star Valley neighborhoods. We continue to work with GCSO on keeping our citizens safe.”

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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