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Butte Police: Less calls, but more arrests in 2018

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 18:18:40-05

John Emeigh
11:22 am
January 3, 2019

BUTTE – Butte police responded to about 400 fewer calls in 2018 than in 2017 which had about 33,600 calls for service. Despite the drop, police are still busy.

“Over 33,000 calls for service a year which we’re running roughly 30 patrol officers to answer those 33,000 calls a year so they’re running pretty hard,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.

Still, police made about 280 more arrests in 2018 than the prior year, but investigators in Butte had very few major crimes over that time.

“Major crime I believe went down slightly, so it went good, I think that we’re getting out in touch with the community than we have in the past,” said Skuletich.

While statistics are still being analyzed, Butte police suspect drunken driving offenses are dropping. They only made three DUI arrests over the New Year’s holiday.

“That’s been a trend over the past couple years with a slight downward trend, which is good, we’d like to see zero DUIs, but between education and enforcement DUIs are starting to drop,” said Skuletich.

One issue Butte law enforcement hopes to address I the new year is overcrowding in the Butte Detention Center. At one time last year, this facility had more than 120 inmates in it. It was designed to hold just over 70.

“We’ve got a couple new judges, Judge McCarthy, and Judge Pezdark, that handle a lot of the misdemeanor type cases, so if we can work with them and see if we can do something for jail population that’s one of our biggest concerns right now,” the undersheriff said.

The undersheriff hopes the state will address overcrowding in the state prison system which could free up space in the local jail.