Piceance Creek incidents set record numbers for 2007

RBC — The residents of Rio Blanco County are well aware of the impact the oil and gas industry has on our area. This impact is especially evident when driving the roads in and around the Piceance Creek Basin. The volume of incidents for 2007 dramatically increased over the 2006 figures.
The Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office provided the following statistics for Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2007, specific to the Piceance Creek county roads. For the purpose of these statistics, the area covers 24 county roads, including County Road 5 but does not include Colorado State highways 13 or 64.
Classifications of incidents that surpassed the 2006 yearly totals on Piceance Creek:
n 20 abandoned vehicles, up from nine in 2006
n Eight hit and run accidents, up from three in 2006
n 58 property damage accidents, up from 31 in 2006
n Five injury accidents, up from four in 2006
(Note: 40 additional accidents occurred where RBSO deputies assisted Colorado State Patrol.)
n One arson, up from zero in 2006
n Four assaults, up from two in 2006
n 37 assisting other agency calls, up from 29 in 2006
n Two auto thefts, up from zero in 2006
n Three burglaries, up from one in 2006
n Two disturbances/fights, up from one in 2006
n Six DUIs, up from three in 2006
n 21 fires, up from nine in 2006
n Four harassment cases, up from one in 2006
n 30 motorist assists, up from 14 in 2006
n One narcotics case, up from zero in 2006
n Five property (lost/found) cases, up from zero in 2006
n Six search and rescues, up from zero in 2006
n One sexual assault, up from zero in 2006
n 14 SMM (Special Mobile Machinery) contact/violations, up from three in 2006
n 15 thefts, up from nine in 2006
n 45 traffic arrests, up from 16 in 2006
n 62 traffic complaints, up from 20 in 2006
n 1,106 traffics contacts, up from 354 in 2006
n 16 traffic hazards reported, up from 12 in 2006
n 11 trespassing cases, up from 5 in 2006
n Two unattended deaths, up from one in 2006
n 18 warrant arrests, up from nine in 2006
Classifications of incidents remaining the same or decreased compared to the 2006 yearly totals:
n 25 animal calls, down from 27 in 2006
n 17 assist Meeker ambulance calls, no change from the 17 reported in 2006
n Eight citizen assists, no change from the eight reported in 2006
n Nine civil situations, down from 11 in 2006
n Two criminal mischief cases, down from six in 2006
n One domestic violence case, no change from one reported case in 2006
n 31 911 hang-up calls received, down from 36 in 2006
n 16 suspicious incidents, down from 26 in 2006
n 21 VIN inspections, down from 25 in 2006
n One wildlife violation, down from three in 2006
There were no incidents in 2007 for the Piceance Creek area for the following classifications: homicide, juvenile problems, truancy or weapons violations.
The oil and gas industry’s impact is apparent in the sheer number of call and incidents. Out of the 44 incident categories classified, 28 categories surpassed 2007 numbers. The incidents with the largest increases were hit and run accidents, harassment cases, SMM contact/violations, traffic arrests, traffic complaints and traffic contacts. The task of patrolling and responding to calls in the Piceance Creek area will continue to be a heavy load for the sheriff’s office in 2008.