The Clark County Sheriff’s Office will no longer respond to non-injury vehicle crashes that aren’t blocking traffic.
The agency said that a shortage of personnel and a seasonal spike in 911 calls led to a re-evaluation of patrol deputies’ priorities.
“We’re going through the roof in overtime,” Sheriff Chuck Atkins said. “Every single patrol shift is manned by at least one deputy working overtime.”
The sheriff’s office is down 14 deputies with eight vacancies yet to be filled and six positions in which candidates have been given conditional offers, but are delayed in the process due to long waits for spots at the police academy.
“Every summer as the weather improves, kids are out of school, our call log goes up,” Sgt. Fred Neiman said.
Making this shift in policy, Atkins said, will cut the amount of calls deputies have to respond to by about 1,000 calls per year.
“That will help,” he said.
Deputies will continue to respond to crashes that involve a driver who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a driver who does not have a valid driver’s license, or crashes that include some kind of disturbance between the parties involved. Deputies also will respond if a vehicle or debris is blocking the roadway or if a publicly owned vehicle or property was damaged.
The Vancouver Police Department has a similar policy.
The sheriff’s office reminds drivers involved in a crash to complete a motor vehicle collision report when the crash causes injury to any person or causes $1,000 or more in property damage. Collision reports can be filed online at www.wsp.wa.gov/publications/collision.htm