While Thursday’s blizzard kept area police busy with reports of minor accidents throughout the day, the snow also had an unusual side effect on crime.

Calls for service were down considerably Thursday at police departments across the Boulder-Broomfield area, with officials saying the snowy day kept many would-be criminals at home.

“We did have fewer calls,” said Broomfield Sgt. Mark Goodell. “Anytime we have big snow storms, big rain storms, people stay at home.”

Lafayette Detective Sgt. Gene McCausey agreed, saying while traffic calls were up during the storm, other crimes tend to go down when “people aren’t out and about.”

Boulder police, in particular, saw a huge decrease in service calls, which were down about 60 percent from a typical Thursday.

“We had 23 calls for service, which is much fewer than we generally see on a Thursday night,” said Sarah Huntley, a Boulder police spokeswoman.

Count only the non-traffic related calls, and city officers responded to just nine incidents Thursday.

The few calls included reports of child abuse, a drunk person, harassment, criminal mischief, a warrant arrest and a disturbance — “mostly the kinds of calls you’d expect,” Huntley said.

She said the snow, coupled with University of Colorado students still on spring break this week, seems to have kept most people indoors and out of trouble.

“You’ve got sort of a double effect, I think, of not having as many people in town and the blizzard conditions,” Huntley said.

A sheriff’s deputy at the Boulder County Jail said that only one person was booked in from about midnight Friday to about 7 a.m. — typically a busy time for the jail.

Police expect many people to call in reports about minor fender-bender accidents for the next few days. Boulder County was placed on accident alert early Thursday, so people involved in accidents without injuries have 72 hour to report them to authorities.

Huntley said as the weather warms up and the ice melts, calls for officers will probably go back to normal.

“As people get out and around, we may have more calls for service and traffic assistance,” she said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Heath Urie at 303-473-1328 or urieh@dailycamera.com.

criminals and drunks are wussies… gee.. who knew…


3/27/2009 9:42:49 PM