Sheriff gives Otsego’s 2016 activity report

by Eric Oslund
The Wright County Sheriff’s Department was present at the Otsego City Council meeting on Monday, April 10, to give a special presentation on the 2016 activity report.
In short, Otsego is a very safe place to live.
Sheriff deputies responded to 7,815 calls to service, any call received, in Otsego during 2016. Of those, 3,619 incidents turned into a case report and required further investigation by the deputies. The three most common quality of life calls were medical (423), suspicious activity (315), and alarm (307) – those three are typically the top-5 in cities.
“The suspicious activity, we love to get those calls,” said Sheriff Joe Hagerty. “It means people like you, your residents – our customers – are vigilant. I’ve only got 140 cops that work for the county, that’s 280 ears and eyes for a population of 130,000, plus visitors. We need people to help us and they do. They call in when they see a suspicious car at their neighbor’s house. Up on (96th) street we get a lot of calls from people who are watching the county park for us, seeing activity in there after hours. We love that because we’re usually looking for something to do. Most of our cops are very proactive, but when you get that one little tip, even from an anonymous source, we clear so many crimes with that. It’s amazing.”
As far as traffic calls go, the most common ones in Otsego were traffic stops (1,441), traffic complaints (187) and motor vehicle crashes (184) – though the State Patrol could have come in for crashes on Highway 101, which would not be included in that number.
For crime incidents, theft was the most common in 2016 with 188. Fraud complaints (85) and criminal damage to property (70) were two other top incidents last year. The total number of crime incidents increased from 421 in 2015 to 430 in 2017.

Other notes
•The sheriff’s department will have a school resource officer in new E-8 school, which will be paid for by the school district.
•Be careful with your mail. People commit identity theft by stealing checks for bills from mailboxes.
•Otsego contracted for 40 hours a day of enforcement and paid $67 an hour in 2016.