Conference On Wyoming's Alcohol-Related Crime

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Alcohol's impact on Wyoming's crime has the attention of Peace Officers at the first Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Conference.

About 140 police and sheriffs from across the state discussed the number of alcohol-related arrests made in 2013 and how to prevent them.

Wyoming law officers gathered to discuss the annual report of alcohol-related crimes, which is one of Wyoming's biggest issues.

Chief Richard Adriaens, Sheridan Police Department says, "it's done completely through a survey of people who are arrested and the survey is conducted by detention personnel. And really no other state does it this way."

The report keeps track of, not just DUI's or public intoxication arrests, but all alcohol-related arrests.

Adriaens says, "if we had a domestic or an assault where alcohol was not a criminal act or part of the criminal act, was it involved in some way."

According to Chief Adriaens, data collected over the past 9 years shows between 65-80% of all arrests made in Wyoming are alcohol-related.

However, alcohol-related arrests aren't the only influences officers track. "We've always tracked drugs and, of course back in 2005, we were very interested in the effects of meth on what we were doing and now, with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, we're beginning in this next year will be the first year we begin to collect data specifically attached to that."

With all of the arrests made over the years, the conference also gives the opportunity for police to learn new ways to protect themselves. 47 vendors attended the conference to display their latest technology.

Rick Ebersole of Neve's Uniforms & Equipment says, "it's very crucial for them because they get to see the latest things that are on the market that they might miss in magazines or other media."

Adriaens says, "these conferences and get togethers become more important because we have the same issues as any large community,we may not have as much of that issue, but we still have to be on top of it and keep ourselves educated."

According to officials, marijuana-related arrests in Wyoming have increased since it's legalization in Colorado.

The conference lasts three days, and police departments across the state meet three times a year with their next meeting in September.
Follow Tony Cedrone on Twitter @tony_p_said