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Coconino County, AZ – The extended weekend encompassing September 4-7, 2020 resulted in a significant number of calls stemming from outdoor activity in Northern Arizona. Sheriff’s Deputies worked closely with AZ Game and Fish, US Forest Service, National Park Service, AZ DPS, and other Northern Arizona public safety personnel to address the increased outdoor activity. Community and forest area patrols included increased safety and enforcement measures related to off highway vehicle traffic violations, boating violations, and fire restriction violations.For the period of September 4-7, 2020 deputies responded to 1228 total calls for service (which includes both citizen calls and officer-initiated activities) compared to 822 total calls for service during the previous weekend of August 28-31. The below chart shows a comparison of some of the more common types of calls during the holiday and non-holiday time frames. Common calls for service included disturbing the peace, 911 hang up calls, motorists and public assists, fire violations, off road vehicle collisions (16 injury and 2 fatal collisions), and numerous camping, traffic and parking related complaints.On Monday, Deputies assisted Arizona Game and Fish with a multi-agency litter enforcement detail in the area of FS 535 / State Route 89A. During the detail, the combined participating agencies issued 33 citations. Deputies also responded to several land and road use issues in Oak Creek Canyon which experienced high levels of visitation during the holiday weekend.
Patrol Calls for Service:
Boat Patrol: Deputies in the Page District / Lake Powell area made 42 contacts with boaters to address safety issues. During the contacts with boaters, deputies checked for impaired driving and to make sure the right safety equipment was onboard and accessible. Deputies also responded to a call of kayakers in distress on Lake Powell.
OHV Patrol: Deputies throughout the county made 94 contacts with OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) operators and issued 17 OHV related citations during the holiday weekend. They responded to 16 OHV collisions with reported injuries and two (2) fatal OHV collisions.
Fire Restriction Patrol: During the holiday weekend, deputies responded to 26 reports of fire ban violations and issued one fire ban violation citation.
Traffic / Moving Vehicle Stops: Deputies throughout the county conducted approximately 165 traffic stops during the extended holiday weekend. Citations issued included: 5 Child Restraint violations, 6 Criminal Speed violations, 17 Civil Speed violations, 3 Reckless Driving violations, and 21 other traffic related violations. Many of the traffic stops were for off road vehicle traffic issues.
DUI Enforcement: Deputies made 2 DUI arrests.
Search and Rescue Responses: Deputies responded to 13 SAR calls for service during the weekend.One of the incidents required SAR Unit call out. On 9/7/20 at 8 pm the SAR Unit responded to two lost hikers on Humphreys Peak. The hikers were located at 1:15 am in good condition and escorted back to trailhead to be reunited with family.Sheriff’s SAR Unit would like to remind backcountry users that cell phone service is not always reliable. Outdoor users should leave a detailed trip plan with a trusted person including the time they are expected to return so that if they do not return as expected, search and rescue can be alerted and know where to focus search efforts.
Additionally, outdoor users should always carry safety essentials including water, food, extra clothing for the conditions, navigation equipment, a headlamp or flashlight, first aid kit, emergency shelter material, pocket-knife or multi-tool, and signaling equipment such as a whistle and signal mirror.
Detention Facility: The Coconino County Detention Facility Flagstaff Facility receives arrested persons from Coconino Sheriff’s Office, Flagstaff Police Department, Northern Arizona University Police, Williams Police, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and state and federal agencies in the area such as the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Arizona Game and Fish.
During the period of September 4-7, 2020, a total of 79 persons were booked in Flagstaff and Page Detention Facilities combined (33 of the bookings were for felony charges).
The Sheriff’s Office thanks all those individuals and other public safety agencies who assisted with responses during this holiday weekend and in helping to keep our community safe.
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Note: Numbers are best estimates at time of data summary based on field reports from deputies, detention, and dispatch information.