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Domestic violence cases up in Scott County, but drug-related offenses fall

February 2nd, 2013 10:54 pm by Wes Bunch

GATE CITY — Scott County saw a double-digit increase in domestic violence cases in 2012, while arrests for drug-related offenses continued to drop according to statistics released earlier this month.

Overall, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office responded to 288 domestic calls over the course of last year, a 20 percent increase over the 240 domestic cases authorities recorded in 2011.

Scott County Sheriff John Puckett said the trend was a concern since domestic violence related cases are “usually the most dangerous calls we have.”

Drug arrests also continued their recent decline, this time dropping 37.6 percent to a total of 281 arrests.

Despite the drop in drug offenses, Puckett said those crimes, and others like breaking and entering that are a byproduct of drug abuse, make up the majority of the cases his officers respond to.

The lower number of drug arrests came despite an overall increase in the number of calls Scott County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to in 2012.

In all, Scott County deputies were dispatched on 9,404 calls over the 12 month span. That number marks a 10.4 percent increase over 2011’s total.

The department fielded 1,275 incident based reports in 2012. Of that number, 727 were considered closed arrests.

Scott County authorities also processed a total of 2,128 warrants last year, a slight drop from 2011, when 2,273 warrants were served. Of those, 1,255 warrants were for felony offenses, also a small decrease from last year when deputies were responsible for serving over 100 more warrants.

Puckett said the cases his office worked in 2012 were handled by a staff consisting of just 16 total patrol officers and only three criminal investigators.

Another area that saw a drop year over year was DUI arrests. Scott County deputies made 70 DUI arrests in 2012, a 16.6 percent decrease from the previous year.

Motor accidents remained virtually unchanged in 2012, however, with deputies being dispatched to 344 incidents, compared with 341 the prior year.

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