911 report: Crime down, pocket dials up

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By Tris DeRoma

The Los Alamos Police Department’s annual 2015 report contains a lot of information on the county’s crime.
It also has a lot to say to residents about 911 calls.
In 2015, 911 Dispatch received over 360 accidental calls from cell phones and about 747 abandoned 911 calls.
While the numbers may not sound like much compared to the nearly 6,000 total calls received that year, every call must be checked out. That, according to the report, takes considerable time and manpower.
“When a 911 call is abandoned, the dispatcher must call back the number and send an officer to confirm that everything is OK,” said a statement in the report telling residents to be mindful about making 911 calls.
Accidental cell phone calls usually originate from a cell phone being loose in purses, pockets and backpacks, the report said.
Toddlers playing with phones also triggered some of those 911 calls.
“Locking your cell phone helps to prevent accidental 911 calls,” the report suggested.
On a bright note, all types of crime have decreased in the county since 2014, according to the statistics contained in the report. LAPD reports that the arrest rate has decreased by half compared to 2015 stats. They also reported they took 30.12 grams (two ounces) of heroin off the streets and 1,680.37 grams (four pounds) of marijuana.
“Honestly, a number of factors play a part in the decrease of crime within a community,” LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone said. “It’s really a collection of many factors. Things like education, unemployment, drug use… all those things go into crime within a community.”
It also depends on a community’s capacity for prevention, treatment and education, Sgambellone said.
The report highlights the department’s proactive stance against the influx of illegal drugs into the county, going into great detail on their “Operation Genesis” raid, which resulted in 10 arrests and the confiscation of a large amount of drugs and arms in January 2015.
The report also highlights the department’s efforts on domestic violence. It said the department was able to use the funding from two 2015 grants to assist crime victims, whether that was to find shelter, provide funding for funeral expenses and other services.
The department was able to hire a part-time victim’s advocate to assist crime victims.
“We’re glad to be able to provide that and continue to provide that for the coming year,”
Sgambellone said. “I think it’s made a clear difference to the individuals we’ve been able to help, just to respect to understanding their situation, and what resources are available from the community.”
The full report is available on the Los Alamos Police Department’s website, losalamosnm.us/police.com
“It’s a reflection of the hard work of the men and women of the Los Alamos Police Department who are committed everyday to ensuring the community’s health and safety,” Sgambellone said of the report.