Carson City overdose deaths, DUIs spike in 2022

Carson City crime statistics were a mixed bag in 2022 with some categories going down while others went up — dramatically in some cases.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said crimes against persons decreased by about 5 percent during the year compared to 2021. But he said crimes against property were up 8 percent.

Furlong said one of his biggest concerns was the increase in deaths reported in the capital that should have otherwise been prevented. Carson City had eight traffic deaths during 2022 and three of them were pedestrians struck in crosswalks. Another three were the result of rollover accidents, two of them blamed on occupants not wearing seatbelts. The remaining two resulted from motorcycle speeding crashes.

Another worrisome statistic was the dramatic increase in driving under the influence cases. The city had 350 DUI cases in 2021 but 473 DUIs in 2022.

As a result, he said he has directed greater enforcement efforts directed at pedestrian safety and DUIs this year.

He said Carson also experienced a significant decrease in suicides, down 69 percent in 2022. But Furlong said that was offset by a marked increase in overdose deaths. Overdose deaths increased from three in 2020 to 5 in 2021 to 14 in 2022. He said the evidence points to the increasing presence of fentanyl in the community.

To combat the problem, he said the department has adjusted operational assignments to expand Mobile Outreach Safety Teams to react to crisis calls. The city now has two full-time teams responding to a 64 percent increase in calls for service over 2021. Furlong said those teams that include mental health professionals have had tremendous success with all age and socioeconomic categories.

He said a key statistic in the data involving major crimes points to very transient criminal behavior during 2022. He said most of the increase in major crime incidents comes from offenders from outside Carson City.

He said a key effort this year will focus on the advancement of technology to improve crime prevention and working closely with neighboring jurisdictions.


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