COCHISE COUNTY — At least three U.S. Census workers have been threatened by gun-toting residents and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office is looking into the incidents, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The workers notified the Sheriff’s Office after the incidents occurred last week, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.
Two of the three Census workers who were threatened are women and both told investigators that they were driving along roads that they thought were public when they were accosted, Capas said.
One of the Census workers was in her vehicle just outside Bisbee when another woman driving a side-by-side vehicle approached her with a weapon, Capas said. The second Census worker said she was in Dragoon in her car when two men, riding in separate all-terrain vehicles, drove up to her and threatened her with firearms.
“In that incident the men said that the Sheriff’s Office told them they did not have to participate in the Census,” Capas said. “That’s not something we would ever do.”
The Census workers said the weapons were pointed at them. Capas said that’s being investigated.
The third incident occurred in McNeal, Capas said, but the details of that situation are still unclear and investigators are looking into it.
Capas said the Sheriff’s Office realizes some residents may be wary of strangers coming onto their property because of the possibility that someone could be posing as a Census taker.
“That’s why we are advising people to do this online,” Capas said. “There’s only two weeks left and Cochise County is 60 percent done. It’s very important. This could have an economic impact on the county.”
If you have not filled out a Census form, there is still time to do it online, or by phone. Visit 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.