In the two years that Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen has been in office he has compiled statistics about his legal department, ranging from raw numbers of deputy-assigned calls to calls for service categorized by the area from which the call originated. Though two years do not make a trend, there is some interesting information to be gleaned from his figures.
The Wallowa County Sheriff's Office divides the county into six service areas and calls for WCSO police assistance in each area rose markedly from 2001 to 2002. Overall calls rose 19 percent from 2,887 calls for service to 3,427 calls for service in one year's time. This is for the Enterprise city/rural, Joseph city/rural, Lostine city/rural, Wallowa city/rural, Wallowa Lake and "other" area; consisting of more rural Flora, Troy, Imnaha, Zumwalt and the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Rising nearly 400 percent from 39 calls to 145 calls was the "other" area. Wallowa Lake's number of calls rose 31 percent while Joseph city/rural rose 19 percent, Enterprise city/rural 14 percent, Wallowa city/rural 12 percent and Lostine city/rural 7 percent. The largest number of calls naturally came from the more populated Enterprise city/rural area, going from 1,442 calls in 2001 to 1,641 in 2002.
The total number of arrests in the county rose 21 percent from 188 in 2001 to 227 in 2002, with the biggest increase coming in the numbers of juvenile arrests. Juvenile arrests rose 115 percent from 26 to 56, while adult arrests only increased at a 6 percent clip from 162 to 171.
A numerical oddity came in the number of 911 phone calls which numbered 813 in 2001 and the same 813 in 2002.
While the number of burglary investigations was slightly higher in 2002, the number of assaults, criminal mischief/vandalism and theft investigations were significantly lower. In percentages the number of investigated burglary investigations went up 9 percent, while assaults (31 percent), criminal mischief/vandalism (45 percent) and thefts (79 percent) all went down.
The investigated theft cases dropped from 68 in 2001 to 38 in 2002.
The average number of prisoners in jail on a given day rose from 6.4 to 6.6 over the past year.
The total number of investigated cases fell from 526 in 2001 to 490 in 2002, a drop of 7 percent.
The total number of deputy assigned calls was almost the same in the two sample years; 3,659 in 2001 and 3,654 in 2002.