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New Sheriff’s Report

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has released a report that it plans to publish yearly.  The year-end report for 2013 includes an overview of the department, its staff, and crime statistics for the year.

“We want the public to know what their Sheriff’s Office is doing,” says T.C. Sheriff Jim Mele.

The Sheriff’s Office handled more than 31,688 calls for service.  That adds up to about 900 calls per 35 deputies. The table to the left shows overall crime is down, except that domestic violence was up by over 8.5%.

“A big factor is the economy,” says Sgt. Scott Johnson, “People are losing their homes to foreclosures, there’s layoffs, and reduced hours at work creating a lot of stresses in the home.”

The report cites the Rim Fire as the major event in the year with staff working round the clock on evacuation notices, evacuations, safety and security. Another area highlighted was the K-9 unit named Justice that responded to nearly 400 calls.

“That’s a lot of work for one dog,” says Sheriff Mele.  “We’ve seen the value of ‘Justice’ and the return we are getting so we really want to move forward and see if we can get another dog out there.”

The report showed the department made 2,500 traffic stops issuing more than 296 issued citations.   Deputies handled 2,949 disturbance calls and made 1,005 arrests in the past year. In addition, the Sheriff’ Office Dispatch handled  9,010  calls for service ranging from medical aid to animal control calls to assisting other agencies.

However, Sgt. Scott Johnson says,   “These are statistics of crimes being reported.  If say, a burglary happens and it’s not reported, then the statistics could be off.  They are only as good as what is reported to the Sheriff’s Office.”

Sheriff Mele says that is why the public’s help is so important in what they do.  “There is no success without the collaboration of the community.  We cannot do our job unless we are partnered with our community,” added Sheriff Mele.