The Sheriff’s Office is still conducting community meetings when the space is large enough to accommodate community members. Reach out to me if you have a group of neighbors that wants to meet and discuss crime prevention.

At a recent neighborhood meeting we were asked common questions that seem to come up every time. I will try to answer these questions the best I can.

A common question is “The crime in my neighborhood seems to be much higher than what the statistics show. Why does it seem higher?”

Our computer system allows us to dial in your area and provide crime stats based on the complaints received. But many times residents do not call when their car gets broken into or an expected package never shows up.

If we don’t receive calls about vehicle prowls and thefts, we will have no idea about possible theft issues in certain neighborhoods.

Our supervisors conduct crime analyses to determine which areas are being targeted by thieves and allocate more resources to that area.

Every time we show traffic enforcement complaints at community meetings, residents always say that traffic is much worse than what the numbers show.

We have a traffic supervisor that monitors these kinds of calls and will allocate our traffic deputies to the high-volume problems.

Another very common question/comment is “How can we get more deputies in our neighborhood?”

Our deputies cover four zones. Our county is large geographically and we need to ensure our coverage is all over the county and as equal as it can be.

When we see a high number of crimes in a particular area our supervisors will allocate resources to that area, which includes a larger presence of patrol deputies.

Recently we moved resources to trailheads that were seeing a large volume of vehicle prowls. We were able to make an arrest on the person responsible for the break-ins.

If we weren’t advised of these vehicle prowls, we would not have allocated resources to that area. Please encourage your community members to report crime and any suspicious activity.

The other most common question is “We call 911 and we know deputies show up but the problem we called in for is still occurring.”

If you call in an issue and don’t see a difference, call back and ask to speak to the deputy who responded. They will call you back and give you an update when possible. Make sure to tell the dispatcher you want to receive a call-back.

On occasion the information we receive about an issue doesn’t rise to the level of an actual crime. The deputies will attempt to remedy the situation, but at times we can’t do what is asked of us.

There are multiple ways to report crime and suspicious activity.

You can visit the Sheriff’s Office website and complete a crime report. That method is reserved for something that is not occurring now, but rather days ago.

You can call the non-emergency line to dispatch: 360-428-3211. These are for situations that are occurring but are not an emergency.

Calling 911 is for activities that are occurring at the time of the call.

— Chad Clark is undersheriff of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. Send questions to scsocommunity@co.skagit.wa.us.

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