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PUBLIC SAFETY

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, at 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.  You will be directed to the NevadaTomorrow.org Community Data Portal where you will see maps, charts, graphs, year-over-year comparisons and more.  

HOW ARE WE DOING?
Overall Community Public Safety Grade

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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. 

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Image by Hamza El-Falah
 

KIDS  & CRIME

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, nor are all crimes reported. 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.

Juvenile Crime Rates

 
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ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

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 experience 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

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CRIME IN OUR COMMUNITY

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 rates per 1,000 population. [In 2018, the UCR program transitioned from its legacy data collection system to a newer UCR-Tech Refresh (UCR-TR) collection & publishing platform. The change in the computing platform may result in differences in UCR data from previous years, and caution should be used when analyzing data. Differences may be due too technical and procedural reasons rather than increases or decreases in crime.]

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. Not all crimes, are readily brought to the attention of the police, nor are all crimes reported. 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 or 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.

Crime Index

 
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Key Takeaways

Overall, much of the data and research typically published to help determine this report were either unavailable or not updated in 2020. So much of the world’s energy went into tracking, surviving, and recovering from COVID-19 that big 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 being reported for teens ages 13-14.

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

  • Domestic Violence reported cases stayed the same for 2019 and 2020, but it is well documented that the pandemic greatly complicated the ability for 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 larger than all other crimes reported together.  Teen crime arrests did increase and should be carefully monitored by the community especially as we watch other intersecting metrics such as adverse childhood experiences and behavioral health for teens.  The opportunity to focus on the safety of vulnerable populations such as women and children remains high.  The ACE score for 56% of teens surveyed in Nevada was at least one and domestic violence reported cases remained the same, but expert suspect there was a large increase in unreported domestic violence who's survivors are primarily women and children.  As our community works together to systematically address issues that arise everyone benefits.  Public safety is foundational to a happy and health community.

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COMMUNITY
SPOTLIGHT

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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.

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