Harvey County sheriff credits drop in crime to rise in 911 calls

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Harvey County, Kan. -- Harvey county 911 operators took more calls last year than ever before but crime in the county is way down. Sheriff T. Walton says he thinks those two things are directly related.

“This was a good year,” Harvey county Sheriff T. Walton said.

In 2012, Harvey county had a problem with the number of burglaries in the area.

“We had a period of time during the spring months where we were just getting hit. Then it started again in the fall,” Sheriff Walton said.

The sheriff's office stepped up patrols and went house to house.

"We stressed to our deputies going out, tell the people to call us, call us don't be afraid call us and we'll show up,” Sheriff Walton said.

And Sheriff Walton says people listened. Harvey county 911 got about 500 more calls in 2013 than the year before, especially one type of call.

"The thing that stands out the most is suspicious activity calls, suspicious people things that area out of place that people notice,” Sheriff Walton said.

Suspicious activity calls were up about 18 percent in 2013 and Sheriff Walton says he believes that's why burglaries dropped from 62 to 40 and thefts dropped from more than a 111 to 71 in 2013.

“If we get a call of a suspicious vehicle and people know who should and who should not be in their area, we'll go. Well if they see us maybe it gives them second thoughts, 'Maybe we shouldn't be hitting this spot,'” Sheriff Walton said.

To keep the trend going in 2014 Sheriff Walton says keep the calls coming. If anyone in Harvey county sees anything or anyone suspicious, you're asked to call 911.

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