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Truckee felonies drop

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

Serious crime in Truckee dropped by 15 percent last year, according to the annual report released this week by the Truckee Police Department.

Overall, reported felonies declined to 563 in 2006 compared to 661 the previous year and 663 in 2004. For the third straight year, no homicides were reported in Truckee, while reported robberies and rapes remained in single digits.

By another measure, total calls for service, Truckee was a pretty busy place for a small resort community, receiving 18,876 requests in 2006, said Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry.

Examining the police department’s 2006 annual report “gives us the ability to look at what we’re doing right and what we can do better,” Berry said.

The report includes information about traffic, boating, types of crimes, alarm calls, assists to other area agencies, and local events in Truckee. Berry said the data is helpful to gain a better understanding of what the community needs.

“We stay pretty busy with over 50 calls a day,” Berry said.

Many of the service calls are reports of traffic-related incidents in town. In 2006, Truckee had 343 traffic collisions, a 7 percent increase from 2005, according to the report. The increase in the number of collisions is in part because of a population increase in the area as well as a more dense population at specific destinations in Truckee, Berry said.

Northwoods Boulevard between the Tahoe Donner Clubhouse and Chamonix was determined to be the location with the highest collision rate, according to the report.

“That’s just a bad road,” Berry said, recalling a week about two years ago when close to 12 vehicles were involved in collisions on the same stretch.

Police are working with the town’s Department of Public Works to address the problem, with the possibility of adding a guard rail where Northwoods Boulevard curves, sending many vehicles off the roadway, especially in snowy conditions, Berry said.

The area near Glenshire Drive and Olympic Boulevard had the highest rate of injury collision due to drivers traveling at unsafe speed levels and because of winter weather conditions, according to the report.

“Our best bet is to get the word out and educate,” Berry said.

The department is working to offer more education about winter driving techniques for area residents and second homeowners, he said.

Mark Brown, town council member, said the prevention of traffic collisions “comes back to an education process” for all drivers traveling in snowy conditions.

In 2006, detectives investigated 27 drug cases, 43 child-abuse and child sexual-abuse cases, eight suspicious deaths, three arson cases, two child pornography cases and two burglaries resulting in the arrest and recovery of stolen property, according to the report.

Truckee has seen a rise in the number of reports of drug abuse and child abuse, Berry said.

In response to the increase of drug and child abuse, town council will support the police department in their efforts to address the issues, Brown said.

The police department now has three detectives on staff to handle investigative reports, particularly since detectives devote an extensive amount of time to follow up on cases, he said.

“White-collar crimes of fraud and embezzlement take a huge amount of time,” Berry said.

Berry said the recent alleged embezzlement at Vacation Property Management that police are investigating is “creating a firestorm of people on the case.”


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