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Coconino County, AZ; The 2022 Memorial Day Weekend Holiday, encompassing May 27 to May 30, 2022, resulted in a significant increase in calls for service and incidents stemming from outdoor activity in Northern Arizona.
Sheriff’s Deputies worked with officers from the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Arizona Game and Fish, and other Northern Arizona public safety agencies to address the increase in outdoor recreation activities and other calls for service. Besides responding to calls for service, the focus for CCSO this weekend was enforcement of fire restrictions and enforcement of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) laws, as these have proven to be areas of public safety concern in past years. This enforcement emphasis resulted in only one significant fire (approximately 15 acres in the Bear Canyon Area) and only 5 OHV crashes, none of which resulted in serious injuries or death.
For the period of May 27 to May 30, 2022 CCSO Deputies responded to a total of 1,094 calls for service. This includes both citizen initiated as well as deputy initiated calls for service. For comparison’s sake, Deputies responded to 703 calls for service the previous weekend of May 20 to May 23, 2022. The below chart shows a comparison of some of the more common types of calls during the holiday and non-holiday time frames.
Here are some notes on statistics and noteworthy events that occurred over the weekend:
Traffic Stops/ Traffic Enforcement: Deputies throughout the county conducted 164 traffic stops during the holiday weekend, resulting in 10 arrests and 66 citations.
Off Road Vehicle (OHV) Activity: Deputies contacted 80 Off Highway Vehicles over the weekend, which resulted in 12 OHV related citations. There were 5 OHV related crashes that CCSO responded to. CCSO is pleased to announce that none of these crashes resulted in serious injury or death.
Fire Restriction/Campfire Activities: Deputies responded to 27 reports of violation of the Coconino County and National Forest fire restrictions. This resulted in 12 citations for violating these restrictions. The remainder of the reports were unfounded. Many of the calls were investigated and found to be propane fires, which are not prohibited under stage 2 fire restrictions.
Impaired Driving: Deputies made 3 arrests for driving while impaired. 2 of these resulted in felony charges and 1 was misdemeanor charges. The average breath alcohol content of the arrests was .199 BrAC. The legal limit in Arizona is .08 BrAC.
Page Boat Patrol: Deputies at Lake Powell contacted 11 vessels to address boating safety issues. During the contacts with boaters, deputies not only checked for impaired operating but also checked to make sure the correct and appropriate equipment was onboard and accessible.
Search and Rescue/ Ongoing Mission for Axel Brugere Search: Throughout the weekend, Deputies and Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue continued to search for missing person Axel Brugere in the Oak Creek Canyon area. See separate media release for additional information. There were 2 additional Search and Rescue Calls, which were successfully handled in the first operational period.
Fire Near Bear Canyon Lake: On Monday May 30, Deputies responded with US Forest Service Fire resources and Law Enforcement to the area of Bear Canyon Lake for a report of a wildland fire. This fire was near several dispersed campsites. The fire was contained at approximately 15 acres and is believed to be caused by an abandoned campfire. Investigation on cause is ongoing.
Criminal Investigations: Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office had a busy weekend as well. Among other investigations, they assisted with the following investigations:
the death of an infant in the Page area
an accidental shooting in the Fredonia in which a man accidentally shot himself in the thigh
an accidental fatal shooting at a campsite in the Blue Ridge District
assisted with interviews on the ongoing Search and Rescue Mission in Oak Creek Canyon
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 May 27 – 30, 2022, a total of 67 persons were booked (10 of these were
at the Page Facility). Of the total bookings, 38 were booked on felony charges.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all those individuals and our partnering public safety agencies who assisted with responses to the incidents during this holiday weekend and in helping to keep our community safe.
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Note: The above cited statistics are the best estimates at the time of this media release and is based on field reports from deputies, detention, and dispatch information that is entered in at the time of the call for service.