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Staffing down, calls up

Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer said the number of calls to the Sheriff’s Office remained high in 2008, however, the county has a relatively low crime rate compared to other counties its general size close to urban areas around the nation.

According to the report, the Sheriff’s Office responded to 65,994 calls during the year, a slight increase of 1 percent over 2007, when the department received 65,320 calls. This includes all categories of calls from citizens, as well as incidents witnessed by officers.

The 2008 report shows the number of homicides in Jefferson County remained at two from the year before. Motor vehicle theft reports decreased by 22, or 10 percent, to 192. There were 35 arson cases, a drop of two cases, or 5.4 percent, from the year before.

Assault reports were virtually the same, with the 552 assault reports in 2008 only four more, or 0.7 percent, from the previous year.

Domestic violence reports grew by 13 cases, or 1.4 percent, to 958 cases. Larceny was up by 54 reports, or 2 percent, to 2,883 reported incidents.

Several other categories had double-digit percentage jumps. Rape was up by 12 reports, or 32 percent, to 49 cases. Robbery increased by eight reports, or 47 percent, to 25 calls.

Burglary increased by 55 reports, or 15 percent, to 431 cases. Since 1993, there has been only two years when reports of burglaries increased – 2005 and 2008.

Boyer stressed that the Sheriff’s Office has been handling these and other assignments with a smaller percentage of officers when considering the county’s population growth.

Boyer said the department is operating with fewer officers than it did in 1993, the year he took over.

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