Brown Co. Sheriff releases 2020 statistics

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 11:16 AM CST
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BROWN CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Brown County Sheriff John Merchant has released crime statistics for the county for 2020.

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant says 2020 was a difficult year for many and that he is proud of the way the community handled the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is grateful for the support the community showed first responders during the course of the pandemic. He said deputies and jail transport officers delivered food, water, medicine, supplies and groceries to those in need at the start of the pandemic, which resulted in many service calls that were not officially counted in the statistics.

Sheriff Merchant said he has to give credit to his staff. He said not once did they snub the idea of interacting with the public in order to help. He said they never complained about the increase of calls for information or assistance and jail staff always handled incoming prisoners without complaint, even when extra precautions were necessitated by the pandemic.

According to Sheriff Merchant, the Brown County crime statistics from 2020 are as follows:

  • 911 calls - 17,955
  • Warrants served - 145
  • DUI, K9 and Narcotics - 118
  • Accidents - 202
  • Domestic disturbances - 37
  • Animal calls - 146
  • Traffic stops - 1,357
  • Criminal damage to property - 15
  • Assist other agencies - 107
  • Assist motorists - 380
  • Community policing/civil issues - 82
  • Illegal dumping complaints - 7
  • Alarm calls - 50
  • Burglary/theft - 52
  • Trespass - 5
  • Offender registration - 282
  • Process service - 958
  • Attempts - over 3,000
  • Pedestrian checks/suspicious person - 99
  • Vehicle unlock - 214
  • VIN - 277
  • Reckless driving complaints - 143
  • Welfare checks - 119
  • Miscellaneous calls - 381
  • Fire test - 360
  • Inmate transports - 97
  • Road blocked reports - 146

Sheriff Merchant said the Brown Co. Jail housed over 450 inmates over the year with an average daily population of around 17 inmates. He said inmates are the result of arrests from Brown Co. law enforcement entities. He said on rare occasions, the jail will house out of county inmates. He said jail staff have responsibilities including inmate observation, booking inmates, jail checks on all inmates, documenting incidents and filling out reports, preparing and serving meals, cleaning and organizing, escorting inmates to court, general upkeep of the jail, laundry, handling inmate complaints and concerns, general jail maintenance and meal planning.

According to Merchant, the dispatch center is responsible for all incoming calls for emergencies, service, information or general questions. He said for 2020, the dispatch center statistics are as follows:

  • Phone calls received - 61,000
  • Phone calls per day - 167
  • Radio transmissions - 40,000
  • Radio transmissions per day - 109

Merchant said not only do dispatchers have the radio and telephone to monitor, but they also enter and confirm warrants, run information for jail staff, check on officers, identify and notify officers and emergency workers of potential risks or hazards to calls they are being dispatched to, validations, enter protection orders, VINs, clock staff in and out, MVR driving history, run IIIs for officers, weather alerts and notifications, NIXLE alerts, set off tornado sirens, collect unused and unwanted prescription medications.

According to Merchant, deputies average around 150-200 miles per shift. He said deputies are responsible for traffic stops, serving papers, providing help, investigating cases, answering complaints, serving warrants, making arrests, attend training, testifying in court, vehicle maintenance and care, attend briefings, protect residents. He said vehicle stops and visible patrol are important to deter crime. He said deputies are on patrol 24/7.

Merchant said he would like to express his thanks to all of the Brown Co. residents for their support and cooperation through a year filled with twists and turns. He said many donated masks, supplies, food, cards, letters and prayers. He said this all made a huge difference to the office.

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