Idaho Law Enforcement officials announced today that the state’s crime rates are on the decline for the second year in a row. Is that the case in East Idaho?
The Pocatello Police Department is proud of its 43% clearance rate, one of the best in the state, keeping up the Gate City’s continued safe reputation. Arrests are up and crime is down throughout the community, except when it comes to narcotics, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.
“We’re attacking that more,” said Scott Marchand, the Chief of Police, “we’ve put more people into narcotics enforcement so we’re building more cases which is going to show an increase in that type of crime.”
The chief assures me that things within his police department in Pocatello are running fairly smoothly but there is one growing concern that they aren’t quite sure how to tackle.
“There are huge mental health issues; we spend the majority of our day on welfare checks.”
Mental health is a growing issue all around the country and eastern Idaho isn’t an exception. With cutbacks statewide in regards to mental health, it’s hard for the officers to keep up with the welfare checks, but they know it will be harder if they don’t.
“Mass shootings, those things that go on there, there are some mental issues. I’m sure in just about every one of those cases there are signs that either people ignored or didn’t deal,” added Marchand.
The officers are all trained in crisis intervention, but the department still relies heavily on friends and family to step up and not be afraid to make a phone call.
“Don’t look the other way, I guess is what I would say, I know people worry about getting involved, but it’s your town, your community, sometimes you have to get involved.”
Overall, Pocatello is on trend with the state in terms of class A and violent crimes decreasing, but in addition to drug crimes, they have seen a recent boost in assault on officers, which is up 10% statewide.