Some of the comments I have seen on social media sites blame the Shenandoah Police for not doing our job enforcing drug laws. The majority of comments I have seen support the police. You can't please everyone all the time, but I feel it's necessary to state some facts. Most supporters are aware of our efforts but it may also educate the non-believers or ill-informed.
Drug arrests in Shenandoah have increased 325% from 2013 to 2014. All of this is being accomplished with one part-time drug enforcement officer who is allowed 16 hrs/week with partial assistance from me. Simply put, we don't have the manpower to make arrests or solve every drug report we receive but it doesn't mean we don't try.
After more than a year of investigation, in November 2014, the largest drug warrant operation in Schuylkill County history was executed in Shenandoah with the help of Pennsylvania State Police and Federal Agencies. Seventy seven (77) people were targeted. Arrest warrants remain for less than 12 suspects from this operation. Four vehicles were seized along with cash, property and firearms.
There have been more than 11 arrests in the past month involving drug sales. For investigative reasons, not all arrests are publicly reported. It does not mean we are not addressing the problem. New cases are being initiated every week.
This year, two separate search warrants have resulted in the seizure of 400 bags of heroin at one location and 7100 heroin bags at another. Firearms and cash were seized at both locations. A third search warrant at a different location resulted in several thousand dollars cash from drug proceeds being seized.
I don't have exact figures but in total, more than $30,000 cash has been seized and in excess of 12,000 bags of heroin that will never be on the street.
Federal charges are still a real possibility for many defendants.
Officers on normal patrol are also making drug arrests. Since January 2015 there are approximately 15 arrests for driving under the influence of controlled substances.
In addition to drug arrests officers are still responding to all other reported crimes along with issuing traffic citations and parking tickets that we respond to on a day-to-day basis. Even with the 325% increase in drug violations, when averaged in with all other crimes, there is a decrease in total reported crime of 7.86%.
In 2014, at 516 reported offenses, only two other law enforcement agencies in Schuylkill County responded to more and both those agencies have more than 20 full-time officers. Shenandoah Police has three. The majority of the shifts are covered by part-time officers.
All this with two officers per shift.
Chief George Carado