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Sheriff's Weekly Highlights June 3, 2016
Congratulations to Academy Graduates Who Received Tyler Stewart Memorial Award

Last week we congratulated our most recent Northern Arizona (Law Enforcement) Training Academy graduate, Deputy Scott Plunkett.  We’d like to share with you that Deputy Plunkett received several accolades.  He graduated with the highest academic score, and he also received the Tyler J. Stewart Honor Recruit Award.  Deputy Trevor Wallace received the prestigious Tyler J. Stewart Honor Recruit Award as well from his graduating class in 2015.  Both Deputy Plunkett and Deputy Wallace are currently assigned to the Page Patrol District. 

This is quite an honor as he was chosen by his peers as best exemplifying the academy’s standards and ideals of a police officer.  The award is named after fallen Flagstaff Officer Tyler J. Stewart who was killed in the line of duty December 2014.  Stewart was known for being an inspiration to his classmates at NARTA.  We are very proud of how they represented Coconino County during their academy. 

CERT Members Wish Gerry Blair Bon Voyage
Blair CERT Retirement

On Tuesday, May 31 at the regular monthly CERT meeting, over 75 CERT volunteers gathered to wish Gerry Blair Bon Voyage.  Gerry and his wife Zilpha have several upcoming trips planned to kick off Gerry’s retirement.  Next week they will be leaving on a cruise to Alaska, and later they will be travelling to Panama. 

The CERT volunteers presented Gerry with a special party hat and travel gear including binoculars, a tripod for his camera, and a Yeti cooler.  Everyone enjoyed sharing stories and memories during the retirement party.  

Sheriff’s Office Efforts to Keep Memorial Day Weekend Safe for Residents and Visitors
CCSO and Flag

The Sheriff’s Office took a two-pronged approach of education and enforcement throughout Coconino County roads, forests and waterways during the Memorial Day weekend.  The education component started with a pre-weekend media release on Boat Safety, OHV Safety, and Camping/Hiking Safety, along with the message, “Don’t Drink and Drive / Boat.” 

From Friday May 27, 2016 through Monday May 31, 2016, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to approximately 397 citizen initiated calls for service and conducted approximately 525 on-sight assignments (area patrols, traffic stops, etc.). The activity over the weekend resulted in a total of 79 long form reports detailing information on traffic accidents, criminal, civil and suspicious incidents. We also responded to 47 Assist Other Agency Calls and Attempt to Locate calls. 

SEARCH AND RESCUE (SAR): Deputies responded to six Search and Rescue calls over the weekend:

  • overdue adult on Rhino in Forest Lakes area (5/28/16)
  • adult male hiker lost in woods around Lake Mary (5/28/16); deputies used sirens to help him become oriented
  • two overdue horseback riders on Kaibab national forest near Parks (5/28/16) who returned without additional assistance needed
  • two overdue UHV/Rhino riders (5/28/16) in Blue Ridge area who returned without additional assistance needed
  • lost 8-year-old boy near Lava Tubes (5/29/16) who was located after an area search
  • adult male stranded and requesting assistance near Fry Canyon (5/30/16) who then refused assistance from responding deputies.

OFF-HIGHWAY ACTIVITY: Because of the large number of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) traffic on the forests and near neighborhoods, deputies conducted area patrols educating riders about OHV laws. We estimate that nearly 60 groups with OHV’s were contacted by deputies over the holiday weekend. Our CERT members also provided information on OHV safety throughout the weekend in Mountainaire and Munds Park.  Deputies issued approximately seven citations for OHV related violations. 

OHV Non-injury / medical refusal accidents:

  • three rollovers on FS 552/ Lockett, Chevelon Lake, and FS 532/Woody Mountain Rd
  • a two-vehicle collision on FS 95 Blue Ridge
  • a one-vehicle collision on FS76 Bellemont

OHV Injury accidents:

  • single quad accident on Rim Road in Blue Ridge, 58-year-old male injured
  • single ATV accident near Woods Canyon Lake – two people involved, 17-year-old male medevacked
  • single quad accident near Stoneman Lake –23-year-old female and 15-year-old female injured; 15-year-old air lifted
  • single UTV accident Forest Highlands – one adult male injured
  • single OHV accident at Cinder Lakes, Hundred Dollar Hill – at least one, possibly two injured

TRAFFIC & ALCOHOL RELATED ACTIVITY: Deputies conducted some 101 traffic stops and over 405 area patrols and business checks.  Four DUI arrests were made, three of those for aggravated DUI.  

BOAT ACTIVITY: Deputies on Boat Patrol at Lake Powell made over 15 contacts with people in water craft on the lake educating the public on boating safety. Two Title 5 citations were issued for boating violations.

OTHER RESPONSES & INVESTIGATIONS:  Of those 397 calls for service: 40 disturbing the peace calls including many calls related to loud music, ATVs, shots fired and trespasses; 26 suspicious activity calls; 46 motorists/public assists; 9 domestic situations, 29 EMS reports; 23 fire related reports. One report of a wildland fire on FS 164B required the evacuation of several campsites. Another report was for a structure fire in Red Lake.  

Other deputy reports of activity over the weekend included responses to aggravated assault, threatening/intimidating incidents, late reports of burglary, and theft.

BOOKINGS: The Coconino County Detention Facility processed 93 bookings from 5/27/16-5/31/16; 20 of those bookings were at the Page Detention Facility. Because both are regional holding facilities, bookings are from multiple law enforcement agencies throughout Coconino County.

Chief Driscoll Honors our Service Men and Women Who Died While Serving
The American Legion invited Chief Deputy Jim Driscoll to be one of speakers during the May 30, 2016 annual memorial service at Citizens Cemetery.  Chief Driscoll honored those who have lost their lives in the service of our country.  He also spoke about the PTSD challenges that so many of our veterans have faced and continue to face, and the efforts that our Detention Facility are making to identify veterans and provide them with needed resources.  On behalf of Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, thank you to the men and women who gave their lives and to the families who lost loved ones protecting the freedoms for which we stand.

News from Forest Lakes Memorial Day Weekend
Forest Lakes Honor Guard
During Memorial Day weekend events in Forest Lakes, approximately 125 people attended their Flagpole Dedicated Ceremony.  Deputy Robert McKeever assisted with the Honor Guard and presentation of Colors. During the event the new Veteran’s Wall of Honor also was unveiled inside the Community Center House.  Thanks to the Forest Lakes community for providing the photo of Deputy McKeever and the Honor Guard and to Cal Phillips for the video he posted

Sheriff’s Office Making a Difference - Community Thank You Letters
Girl Scout Troop Rescue

Here are a few thank you notes / photos we’ve received over the past couple of months that we wanted to share. 

  • Thank you to Deputy Libarle for providing lots of support, encouragement, and guidance during a girl scout outing to Kendrick Cabin that had some unplanned adventures leading to their need to call for help.

  • Thank you from Frank Balkcom, Chief Page Police Department to Lieutenant Bret Axlund who assisted in surveillance while the police served a search warrant related to a child abuse case.  Chief Balkom thanked Lt. Axlund for his continued professional services and partnership.

  • Thank you to Commander Gilliland and Public Information Officer Gerry Blair from ASU Chief of Police, Michael Thompson.  Chief Thompson expressed his gratitude for their professional and continuous communication with him and his agency during the recent search and recovery of missing ASU professor Debra Schwartz who died while hiking in Oak Creek Canyon.

  • A Parks resident was temporarily snow blinded while driving on I40 during a May snowstorm.  Deputy Smith checked his welfare and assisted him to safety at the next off ramp.  The resident sent a letter expressing his gratitude.

  • A Prescott Valley man who had plans to summit Humphreys Peak in April found himself in need of rescue.  Sergeant John Jamison was the initial responding officer and was able to talk with the man over cell phone and give him instructions while the Search and Rescue Unit under Sergeant Aaron Dick’s direction responded to the location. The man wrote a four-page letter expressing his gratitude and describing his journey.  He also kindly made a financial contribution to the SAR volunteers.

Williams Squad
  • We received a thank you via our Facebook page in which a lady thanked our Williams Patrol group for being some of the best people she’s had the pleasure of meeting. She described the story of how “Grampys” car broke down on their drive home in front of the Sheriff’s Office. The squad pushed their car into the parking lot and invited them inside to stay warm while waiting for a tow truck.   

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