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Even of all the other elements of quality of life are in place, it doesn't mean much if we don't feel safe and secure in our own community. A sense of well-being depends on our ability to find jobs, get around easily, and to be secure at work, home, school, and at play. Our vision for the future includes a stable community, a healthy economy, and strong families. Security is critical to economic development and tourism.

​Economic health contributes to a stable community. Education and recreation opportunities keep young people engaged. Land use design and infrastructure planning can contribute to our collective safety and health. Security is essential if we are to achieve our vision of a world-class education system, excellent public services, and a growing economy.

To learn more about each indicator, simply click on the icon, chart, map, or graph to be directed to the Community Data Portal, where you will see maps, charts, graphs, year-over-year comparisons, and more. ***

***Please note that graphs and other visual aids may only be visible on a desktop or laptop computer. If you are viewing this page on a mobile device, please switch to a desktop or laptop computer for the best viewing experience and the most access to information. 

Overall Community Public Safety Grade

Public Safety Rating: Average
Public Safety Rating Scale: Average

In general, feelings of safety are improving.  Neighborhood watches and online community connection apps bring a greater sense of connectedness. Highly trained law enforcement and fire protection professionals contribute to residents' sense of safety.

Learn more below about the state of health and wellness in our community. 

Firefighters talking with little boy dressed as the fire chief. Image by Hamza El-Falah
Public Safety


Youth who are arrested may not gain the educational credentials necessary to secure employment and succeed later in life. Negative peer influences, history of abuse/neglect, mental health issues, and significant family problems increase the risk of juvenile arrest. The juvenile justice system aims to reduce juvenile delinquency through prevention, intervention, and treatment services. Youth who do not receive appropriate services and support are at higher risk for re-arrest.

This indicator shows the number of felony and misdemeanor arrests for children ages 17 and younger.

Juvenile Crime

Juvenile Crime Rates

Washoe county had 2,221 juvenile arrests in 2018.
Juvenile arrests rose from 2,070 in 2017 to 2,221 in 2018.
Bar graph showing the race/ethnicity of juvenile arrests with the majority being White.
Bar graph indicating the age of juvenile arrests. The highets age range of arrests is 13-14 years old.


Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and early trauma is a potential key to helping children and adults thrive.


Children who experience traumatic events or environments can develop challenges in their lives. Without a healthy adult to support them, they may experience toxic stress and encounter chronic health conditions like depression, asthma, or diabetes.


Of the Nevada teens surveyed to look for Adverse Childhood Experiences (such as sexual, physical or verbal abuse, or living in a household with other unsafe factors) 44% report having no experiences. 25% report having one experience and 31% report having experienced 2 or more.


The CDC’s Vital Signs/ACEs report represents a milestone in our collective understanding of the overall health and socioeconomic impact of ACEs in this country and what can be done to prevent them.


  • Takeaway #1: ACEs are common—probably more common than you think—nationwide nearly 61% of all respondents experienced at least one type of ACEs. Additionally, nearly one in six respondents (16%) reported four or more types of ACEs.


  • Takeaway #2: The effects of ACEs add up over time and impact our health and life outcomes. The more types of adversities you experience, the higher your risk of experiencing poor health outcomes, like depression, overweight/obesity, and cardiovascular disease. You are also more likely to engage in health risk behaviors, such as smoking and heavy drinking and to experience poor socioeconomic outcomes, such as unemployment. For example, odds of depression were five times higher among adults with high levels of ACEs exposure v. those reporting no ACEs exposure.


  • Takeaway #3: Preventing ACEs could help prevent poor health and life outcomes. At least five of the top ten leading causes of death are associated with ACEs. Preventing ACEs could potentially result in a:

    • 44% reduction in depression - 26% reduction in COPD - 24% reduction in heavy drinking

    • Almost 13% reduction in coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US


  • Takeaway #4: ACEs are preventable. Creating the conditions for safe, stable, nurturing relationships for children, families, and entire communities is fundamental to preventing ACEs.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Nevada middle school survey indicting youth risk behaviors.
ACE scores of youth risk behavior.


Domestic violence is a learned and preventable behavior that uses fear and a form of oppression that fosters violence and the abuse of power over other people. Victims of domestic violence cross racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and gender lines. 


The cost of domestic violence to society includes:

  • Emergency shelter and housing.

  • Healthcare.

  • Survivor assistance.

  • Approximately one-third of all police response time.

  • Millions of dollars of paid workdays lost annually.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

For every 1000 residents, 7.9 said they had experienced domestic violence in Washoe county.The last updaate for this data was conducted in 2021.
The amount of domestic violence incidents is rising.
Line graph of Domestic Violence Crime Rate over time.
Washoe County rates are calculated based on reported population.


The Crime Index reported in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program is the most commonly used measure of crime and is a consistent sample that allows for national comparisons of crime rates per 1,000 population. Not all crimes are brought to the attention of the police. Also, some serious crimes, such as kidnapping, occur infrequently.


Therefore, UCR limits the reporting of offenses known to the eight selected crime classifications because they are the crimes most likely to be reported and most likely to occur with sufficient frequency to provide an adequate basis for comparison by law enforcement and use as social indicators.

The Crime Index has been modified many times since first published in 1960, mainly because larceny-theft makes up almost 60% of reported crime, and thus the sheer volume of those offenses overshadow more serious but less frequently committed offenses.


This indicator measures crime rate per 1,000 of population. The UCR program collects Part I violent crime and property crime offenses that are serious by nature and/or volume, including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Crime Index

Crime Index

In 2021, for every 1000 residents, 30.2 reported having a crime committed against them in Washoe county.
Line graph showing the crime index from 2004 to 2021. There is an overall reduction in crime.
Bar graph of crime index rate offenses, with the majority of crime being larceny/theft.

Key Takeaways

Overall, much of the data and research typically published to help determine this report were unavailable or not updated in 2020. So much of the world's energy went into tracking, surviving, and recovering from COVID-19 that significant reports and research projects were set aside. Despite the challenges, this preparation for this report uncovered several key takeaways.​

  • Crime in Washoe County has been steadily decreasing since 2004. There was a slight increase in crime from 2019 to 2020, with larceny/theft being the most frequently reported crime.

  • Juvenile crime arrests increased from 2017 to 2018, with the highest frequency of arrests among teens ages 13-14.

  • Of the Nevada teens surveyed to look for Adverse Childhood Experiences, 44% have no experiences, 25% report having one experience, and 31% report having two or more experiences.

  • Domestic Violence reported cases stayed the same for 2019 and 2020, but it is well documented that the pandemic greatly complicated the ability of people to report incidences of abuse. 

  • Looking at these public safety metrics, our community is safer than other counties with a similar population. Theft and larceny crime rate index offenses are more prominent than all other crimes reported together. The information also indicates that the community should continue to closely monitor the safety of all vulnerable populations, such as women and children. Additionally, the community should carefully monitor the increase in teen arrests, especially as we watch other intersecting metrics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences and the behavioral health of teens. For example, the ACE score for 56% of teens surveyed in Nevada was at least one, and domestic violence reported cases remained the same. Still, experts suspect there was a significant increase in unreported domestic violence whose survivors are primarily women and children. 

  • As our community works together to systematically address issues, everyone benefits. Public safety is foundational to a happy and healthy community.

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Locked Eyes Save Lives

The RTC and Vision Zero Truckee Meadows have launched a pedestrian and driver safety campaign called Locked Eyes Save Lives. The campaign urges a change in driver and pedestrian behavior with the hopes of bringing pedestrian fatalities in our community to zero.

The campaign has a simple message: The act of making eye contact between a pedestrian and a driver ensures the safety of those walking down the street.

Developing ongoing awareness campaigns have proven challenging for the program. Creating fresh, innovative marketing content to reach various audiences on various platforms is a top priority for Vision Zero Truckee Meadows. 

By installing flashing beacons at crosswalks, improving safety and accessibility at bus stops, increasing outreach as part of the Safe Routes to School program, and developing outreach campaigns such as Locked Eyes Save Lives, we can encourage safety and awareness throughout the community.

Children crossing crosswalk.
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