SHERIDAN — Citizens help contribute to the safety and security of Sheridan by reporting crimes as they occur, and law enforcement officials said they’re thankful for that assistance.
“We all have a common goal, and that’s to make sure Sheridan is a safe and secure place where people can feel free to move about any time of the day or night without fear of being a victim of a crime,” Sheridan Police Department Lt. Travis Koltiska said.
Reports initiated by outside parties resulted in 80 percent of the total cases investigated by the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office in the past five years. Of those cases, 28 percent resulted in arrests and an average of 69 percent resulted in citations.
A significant year for citizen contribution came in 2016, when 87 percent of the total reports, 45 percent of the arrests and 77 percent of the citations were credited to outside reporting parties.
While SPD could not pull data similarly to SCSO, Koltiska said out of the 665 REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately) reports called in by outside parties since April 23, 2015, only five of them were reported by off-duty law enforcement or dispatchers, meaning community reporting can be credited to 660 of the REDDI reports recorded in the past three years. Of those reports, 114 resulted in arrests within city limits.
“Outside public and private entities are any person or organization other than an SCSO employee,” Sheridan County Sheriff Allen Thompson said in an email explaining the statistics presented. “These are mostly private individuals but can include other law enforcement entities or other government entities, like the Department of Family Services.”
While a low percentage of SCSO calls resulted in arrests, the proactive nature of citizens making 76 percent of the calls is what law enforcement appreciates.
“I believe the community is very much on board,” Koltiska said. “I think they understand the need for them to provide information to the police if they want the quality of life that we all strive for in this community — a sense of safety and security.”
Koltiska said Sheridan’s low crime rate also helps officers.
On a scale from 1-100, with one representing low crime, Sperling’s Best Places website puts Sheridan as a 13 for violent crime and a 37 for property crime.
Sheridan sits under the Wyoming average in violent crime by around eight points and comes in about 10 points above the state average in property crime. Sheridan sits below both averages in comparison to the rest of the nation.
“There are crimes that occur,” Koltiska said. “There are still things that happen here; it’s not Mayberry, but we’re fortunate and we encourage the reporting of all crimes.”
While law enforcement entities are in the trenches each day, Sheridanites can take some credit for keeping crime rates low in the community.