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Coeur d‘Alene, ID: – Multiple social media posts caused quite a stir over the weekend. The message initially posted to multiple pages stated there had been 73 suicides in Kootenai County in the last six weeks. Later it was changed to reflect suicide attempts in the last six weeks. Unfortunately, these posts referenced the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office as its source, however, the information is misleading and not correct.
Here are the facts. March 1st through April 16th of this year, we had 73 dispatched calls for service relating to self-harm. These calls don’t always imply an active suicide threat. They can encapsulate a multitude of areas to include: a concerned citizen calling on the behalf of another, possible protective custody requests, and others seeking resources relating to mental health concerns involving themselves or other individuals.
Of the 73 total calls for service this year, 33% were taken into protective custody. The other 67% of the calls were cleared with either no action needing to be taken or the individuals were given referrals for resources to assist. Two of the calls involved deputies responding to a confirmed suicide.
In 2019 for the same time period, we also had 73 calls for service. However, for this time period 38% were taken into protective custody. The other 62% of the calls were either cleared with no further action taken or the individuals were given referrals for resources to assist. Of the calls, three involved deputies responding to a confirmed suicide.
Additionally, looking at 2018 for the same time period, we had 71 calls for service relating to self-harm. For this period, 65% of the calls had to be taken into custody for a protective hold. During this stretch of time, 35% of the calls were either cleared with no further action taken or the individuals were given referrals for resources to assist. For 2018, eight of the calls involved deputies responding to confirmed suicides
Comparatively, the statistics show that calls for service have essentially plateaued except in regards to confirmed suicides. That number this year is actually lower than it’s been since 2018. Furthermore, looking at other calls for crimes involving harm, specifically domestic violence, we have seen a decrease in call volume. For the same time period as stated above, in 2018 there were 148 calls for service regarding domestic violence. Comparing 2018 to 2020, where we have had 107 calls for service regarding domestic violence, we have seen a 28% decrease in calls for service.
Comparing 2019 to 2020, there were 131 calls for service regarding domestic violence in 2019. In 2020 we had 107 of those calls, while paralleling the two years this shows a decrease of 18% in calls for service.
Unfortunately, during this time there has been an increase in misinformation which has made its way onto social media platforms. We ask that you research and confirm information before sharing it.
Again we would like to remind the citizens of Kootenai County that for the most accurate and up-to-date information relating to COVID-19, please continue to follow the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kootenaioem/.
If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others please reach out for help. Below are phone numbers that can provide assistance.