Heavy Weekend Snow Play Impacts Sheriff’s Office

January 6th, 2022 at 4:40 PM
With the winter weather, Coconino County has experienced over the last two weeks in combination with the holiday season, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has experienced significant numbers of calls for service regarding snow play activities and their relation to traffic issues.
Over the New Year’s Day weekend, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to over 80 snow play-related calls for service. These calls spanned the areas of the Highway 180 corridor neighborhoods, Bellemont, Kachina Village, Munds Park, Mountainaire, Baderville, Ft. Tuthill, Parks, Sherwood Forest Estates, and the Oak Hill Snow play area.
The Sheriff’s Office’s primary area of jurisdiction lies on the county roadways, neighborhoods, and forest roads in the unincorporated areas of Coconino County. When a deputy arrives on the scene of a snow play-related traffic hazard, it is the priority to remove the vehicles as soon as possible to mitigate public safety hazards.
Over the weekend, these calls for service resulted in 5 vehicles being towed and approximately 93 citations issued for illegal parking, including several warnings given to vehicle owners. While on these calls, deputies noted several public safety issues that were directly caused by overcrowding, illegally parked vehicles, and unsafely parked vehicles. It was not uncommon for the responding deputies to be faced with hundreds of vehicles upon arriving in the areas. Parking enforcement is especially challenging due to limited staffing levels.
Coconino County offers a variety of recreational activities. Visitors are reminded that when coming to Coconino County to play in the snow, it is important to follow and respect laws and private property. Outdoor recreationists are encouraged to demonstrate patience, to carry adequate fuel, and to remember the Ten Essentials (Water, Food, Extra Warm Clothing, Navigation Equipment-map, compass, GPS, Headlamp/Flashlight, First Aid Kit, Emergency Shelter Material-space blanket or large leaf bag, Fire-Starting Kit/Backpacking Stove, Pocket knife/Multi-tool, and Whistle for signaling) in addition to a fully charged cell phone and plenty of warm blankets.

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