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Sex Offenses, Assaults Increase In Post Falls Police Attribute ‘94 Figures To More People Willing To Report Certain Crimes

Thu., March 9, 1995

Aggravated assaults, burglaries and sex offenses are among the crimes the Post Falls Police Department handled more of in 1994.

The reason: There are more people moving to the area and more people willing to report certain crimes, said Police Chief Cliff Hayes.

“I think the reporting is more acceptable and easier to do today than it was 10 years ago,” Hayes said, explaining that the number of reported sex offenses have increased by 94 percent from 18 in 1986 to 35 in 1994.

The Post Falls Police Department released its annual report Wednesday.

According to the document, officers responded to 14,118 calls for service in 1994.

That’s a 14 percent increase from the 12,410 calls they responded to in 1993.

Domestic dispute reports rose from 162 in 1993 to 235 in 1994, a 45 percent increase.

Hayes said the numbers have risen partly due to a new program called OASIS, which helps make the victims feel more comfortable reporting domestic abuse.

“They know there’s somebody trained to help them,” he said.

Sue Smith, a trained victim’s advocate, goes to domestic violence calls with the officers and provides assistance and counseling to the victims.

The program also offers sheltering and a support group.

Vandalism also increased by 35 percent and thefts by about 17 percent from 1993 to 1994, according to the annual report.

Hayes said not only are there more people moving to the area, but more people driving through.

In 1994 an average 1.2 million cars passed through Post Falls each month on Interstate 90.

In 1990 only about 800,000 drove through, Hayes said.

Increasing traffic tends to affect the number of thefts and burglaries, he said.

Motor vehicle thefts have continued to increase since 1986 when only 13 cars were stolen.

Thirty eight cars were reported stolen in 1994, according to the report.

“That’s going to continue to go up if people keep leaving their keys in the car,” Hayes said.

“It’s not like it was 20 years ago.”

He pointed out that many of the increases were minor.

For example, arson reports rose from six to eight and were down from the 11 incidents reported in 1991. Reported rapes decreased from six to three from 1993 to 1994.

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