The COVID-19 pandemic helped contribute to a relatively low number of citations and arrests in 2021 compared to many other years, according to a report released on August 29 by the Laramie County Sheriff's Office.

You can read the full report here.

The Laramie County jail, which is operated by the agency, at one point was not booking people for most misdemeanor offenses in both 2020 and again in 2021, with citations sometimes being issued in place of arrests.

In the words of the report:

''2021, like 2020, was a challenging year for us as we provided law enforcement services while still navigating our way through the Covid pandemic, which you will see in this report had an impact on our overall calls for service numbers, as well as our numbers of arrests and citations issued due to lower amounts of self-initiated deputy activity. Like the rest of the country, we were still limiting unnecessary contact with the public in an effort to keep our employees, as well as members of our community, healthy and Covid free."

The report says deputies arrested 611 people in 2021, compared to 773 in 2020. But those numbers were down markedly from the pre-COVID year of 2019 when 1,052 people were arrested. Similarly, the department issued 1,142 citations in 2021 compared to 1,080 in 2020. But both numbers were far below the 1,950 citations issued by deputies in 2019.

The office's K9 police dogs were deployed 614 times in 2021, resulting in the seizure of 838 pounds of pot, 28 pounds and 13 ounces of meth, and 5 pounds of cocaine.

in terms of the type of crimes investigated, thefts and larcenies were far and away the most prevalent offense, with 410 such crimes reported. The "other" category shows 305 reports, and 242 property damage incidents were reported.

The report says the agency has set the following goals for 2022:

1) To hire high-quality public safety professionals and to retain our dedicated staff. If you are up to the challenge in a rewarding career field, click here to join our team.

2) Reduce motor vehicle thefts by 25%

3) Increase DUI enforcement by 20%

4) Increase L.E.A.D.* program referrals by 50%.

The agency will be under new leadership in 2023, as long-time Sheriff Danny Glick did not run for re-election.

Republican Brian Kozak, Independent candidate Jeff Barnes and Democrat Jess Fresquez are vying to be the next Laramie County Sheriff in the November General Election. The winner will assume office early next year.

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