Washoe DA Discusses Crime Rate, Opioid Issue - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Washoe DA Discusses Crime Rate, Opioid Issue

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If it seems like the crime rate is going way up in our area, that might just be a product of how much more we see on social media and hear from friends, at least according to the Washoe County District Attorney.

"People might be hearing about it more," Washoe County DA Chris Hicks said. "That doesn't necessarily mean that the crime rate is up. Now, naturally, we all know our community is growing, so it's certainly reasonable to expect there's going to be more instances of crime."

For Face the State this week, Hicks discussed the trends in crime he's seeing right now. Opioid-related crimes are certainly the buzzword issue, and while he said they are happening here, it's not the only-- nor the biggest-- issue.

"Without a doubt, it's a problem here in Washoe County," Hicks said. "We need to take it seriously, but we don't want to get in a situation where we are putting so many resources toward one isolated problem that nationally is a problem, and we are not focusing on some of our local problems as well."

Hicks said, to deal with opioid issues, they have staffed people from the DA's office in the specialty courts that handle addiction-related crimes. Minor offenders can then get treatment for addiction and lighter sentences rather than extended prison time. Ultimately, though, he said the best way to reduce opioid-related crime is to educate people to stop them from using the drugs and getting addicted in the first place.

As for other crimes, they've been working on putting more child sex abusers behind bars: 92 life sentences just in the last three years. They're also cracking down on habitual criminals, gang activity, and elder abuse.

The full interview airs on Face the State on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Episodes are also posted here after they air.

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