The number of activities by the Gila County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Bureau dropped by 2.5%, going from 31,382 in 2018 to 30,603 in 2019. The information was part of the sheriff’s annual report to the Gila County Board of Supervisors presented April 7.
The most calls handled by patrol were for traffic offenses, with 2,221 in 2019 and 2,294 in 2018.
Sheriff Adam Shepherd explained the number of activities in a given category don’t necessarily reflect whether an actual case and charges developed from the call (activity).
Patrol dealt with five traffic fatality calls in 2019, down from 30 activity calls in 2018.
There were 42 kidnapping calls in 2019, compared to 35 in 2018.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports defines a “violent crime” as one of four specific offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
They handled more murder calls in 2019 than in 2018. The patrol bureau dealt with 27 calls initially cited as murder (homicide in the report) in the responding deputy’s departmental report in 2019 and 18 in 2018.
Shepherd said not all calls initially classified as homicide turn out to be homicide. A call could come in about the discovery of a dead body and the responding deputy initially reports it as a homicide. Further investigation could then determine it was death by natural causes, but it still is included in the number of homicide activity calls received by the GCSO Patrol Bureau.
There was a decline in three of the four classifications of violent crime.
The drop in aggravated assault activity calls went from 335 cases of the crime in 2018 to 314 in 2019.
There were 23 rape activity calls handled by GCSO Patrol in 2018 and 17 in 2019.
Robbery calls were down from 32 in 2018 to 26 in 2019.
The FBI does not consider crimes against children and domestic violence violent crimes. But in 2019 the GCSO Patrol Bureau handled 263 calls about cruelty toward a child compared to 50 in 2018.
“There was a substantial increase in cases that produced an actual case report in the cruelty toward child category, by almost twofold. Again, these may or may not have been submitted for charges depending on the evidence that was able to be collected in each case, but does indicate a rise in those investigations,” Shepherd said.
Other crimes against children and domestic violence:
• 2019, 122 child or adult abuse; 2018, 172
• 2019, 20 contributing to the delinquency of a minor; 2018, 37
• 2019, 11 custodial interference/domestic violence; 2018, 61
• 2019, 215 domestic violence; 2018, 639
• 2019, 29 family offense; 2018, 264
• 2019, 39 neglect child; 2018, 89
• 2019, 280 sex offense; 2018, 249
• 2019, 12 unlawful imprisonment/domestic violence; 2018, 3