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Quiet holiday weekend for police

by Canda Harbaugh & Western News
| May 28, 2009 12:00 AM

While locals took advantage of sunny blue skies and temperatures that reached 85 degrees over Memorial Day weekend, law-enforcement officers and emergency responders enjoyed a relatively quiet three days.

“I don’t see anything really huge,” Capt. Roby Bowe of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said as he paged through the weekend’s reports. “It was just an average summer weekend.”

Alcohol-related dispatch calls – juvenile drinking, drunk driving, assault and car accidents – generally increase during holidays, but for unknown reasons, the volume of calls in southern Lincoln County were relatively low.

Even with extra DUI task force patrol shifts, there was only one drunk driving arrest, which occurred in Libby, in the entire county over the three-day weekend.

There were no bar disturbances in Libby or Troy.

“Traffic was down. The bars were relatively quiet. For the city of Troy, it was pretty quiet,” Troy chief of police Mitch Walters said. “I think it was actually abnormal, considering the potential.”

Walters mentioned that the calls were fairly standard – a report of a burglary within the city limits and a couple of minor car accidents nearby – but nothing that stuck out. 

Two four-wheelers collided on Saturday down Fisher River Road, resulting in one man requiring transport to the hospital, but no other accidents resulted in hospitalization, according to sheriff reports.

Libby Ambulance volunteers, who remember being swamped Memorial Day weekend last year, were relieved to be able to focus on medical-emergency calls last weekend instead of alcohol-related assaults and car accidents.

With the opening weekend of Kootenai National Forest campgrounds landing on the holiday, swarms of locals dusted off their camping gear for a weekend in the woods. Camping may explain why there was little activity within city limits, but forest officials didn’t report any disturbances either.

Sheriff deputies were prepared to drive further out to respond to calls from campers, but were pleasantly surprised.

“Normally our call load will shift from 10 miles out (of town) on these weekends to 15 or 20 miles out,” Bowe said, “but it wasn’t that bad outside of the city limits where you expect it to be a little busier.”

How They Compare

Memorial Day weekend festivities in southern Lincoln County did not appear to put a strain on law enforcement.

Memorial Day weekend sheriff reports from Friday night through Monday night*

All arrests

2 cases of partner or family member assault

1 case of drunk driving

1 case of alcohol-related disorderly conduct

1 case of shoplifting

1 case of violating an order of protection.

Drunk driving

1 drunk driving arrest

3 complaints of drunk drivers

Minors and alcohol

2 reports of adults possibly buying for minors

1 group of minors caught allegedly attempting to steal beer

2 complaints of minor drinking parties

Accidents

3 accidents (1 ATV accident, 2 minor single-vehicle accidents)

Theft/burglary

1 report of petty theft

1 report of attempted burglary

Vandalism/criminal mischief

2 reports

Sheriff reports the weekend before Memorial Day, Friday night through Monday night.

All arrests

1 case of partner or family member assault

1 case of probation being revoked

Drunk driving

2 complaints of drunk drivers

Minors and alcohol

1 complaint of a minor drinking party

Accidents

3 accidents (2 minor traffic accidents, 1 minor single-vehicle accident)

Theft/burglary

1 report of petty theft

Vandalism/criminal mischief

3 reports

* The list does not include customary calls that dispatchers receive, such as wildlife vs. vehicle accidents, civil complaints, pet complaints, unfounded reports and so on. It does not include Troy City Police reports unless they resulted in an arrest.

Source: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office reports