By Josh Claywell
It was a really busy yr for the LaRue County Sheriff’s Workplace in 2021.
Chief Deputy Brian Smith lately gave an end-of-year replace to the LaRue County Herald Information, talking a few litany of points the division handled over the previous 12 months.
By December, Smith mentioned the division labored 138 collisions that ranged from minor deer strikes to fatalities, and officers issued over 2,000 violations that resulted in 829 arrestable offenses.
In all, 2,165 violations got out in 2021, together with 401 drug-related violations and 19 arrests for driving beneath the affect.
Regardless of town electing to permit alcohol gross sales inside metropolis limits, Smith mentioned DUI arrests have been about common this previous yr.
“They’re working about the identical or a bit decrease,” Smith mentioned. “The DUI drug arrests have gone up, however not the alcohol. And most of them are folks coming by means of our county, not from the county. We’re getting on the market and looking for it. If we come throughout alcohol, we’re going to understand it.”
The sheriff’s workplace additionally opened 240 felony circumstances in 2021, with 182 of these being drug-related costs.
Clinton Turner, a detective who’s assigned to the LaRue County Sheriff’s Workplace by means of the Higher Hardin County Narcotics Job Drive, mentioned the most important problem legislation enforcement handled within the final yr has been in a rise in the usage of methamphetamine within the county.
“We’ve ran throughout a bit little bit of opiates so far as hydrocodone, however we haven’t actually come throughout loads of heroin,” he mentioned.
“It’s meth. And most of these circumstances are within the county,” Smith added.
In years previous, one huge concern was residents making their very own meth.
Turner, nevertheless, mentioned that’s not the case.
“Making meth is a factor of the previous. It comes out of Mexico, as much as Louisville and it filters out,” he mentioned. “No one makes their very own meth anymore. We have now a listing that they got here up with of people who we had been getting complaints on, and we have been in a position to go down by means of these and make site visitors stops or make contact with or make visits. That’s how we have been in a position to begin discovering these folks.”
Smith believes taking a proactive method has helped legislation enforcement flip the nook relating to slicing down on drug issues locally.
“These numbers stem from being proactive as a substitute of reactive. That’s one thing that we sort of attempt to do, is proactive policing,” he mentioned. “Which means getting out, patrolling the group, making site visitors stops.”
As a result of legislation enforcement has been in a position to lower down on meth customers within the county, theft numbers have additionally decreased.
“I’ll say our theft numbers have went down, too, which is a direct correlation to getting the meth customers off the road,” Smith mentioned. “These two go hand in hand. Both they’ll steal stuff and commerce it for meth, or they’ll take it someplace and pawn it to get cash after which purchase meth. So we’ve observed a decline in our thefts.”
One other concern popping up inside the final yr has been a rise in what Turner known as pressed fentanyl tablets. He mentioned they’re made to appear like blue Percocet tablets, which is a prescribed ache medication. Fentanyl is among the most dangerous tablets in the marketplace right now.
“In order that’s one other factor we’ve been working throughout, particularly within the counties that we serve,” Turner mentioned. “There have been a number of overdoses right here inside the previous two or three months. As a job drive, I consider our guys have taken over 10,000 tablets off the streets simply making an attempt to fight it.”
Turner mentioned folks take the tablet, considering it is their prescribed Percocet, when it is actually fentanyl.
As a means to assist fight this concern, Turner provided up a easy answer for everybody.
“Simply don’t purchase tablets from anyone apart from your physician,” he mentioned.
“We haven’t had too many overdoses within the county, thank goodness,” added Smith.
Smith mentioned the workplace wrote 316 rushing tickets, 192 insurance coverage citations and 122 tickets for seat belt offenses in 2021.
He mentioned the rushing tickets have been up “fairly a bit” from 2020, which he attributed to drivers getting in an excessive amount of of a rush when touring.
“I simply assume everyone is all the time in a rush,” Smith mentioned. “Individuals don’t go away early sufficient. I assume the society we dwell in has turned everyone into quick paced on a regular basis, all the time on the go.”
One factor Smith was pleased with was the quantity of taxes collected by the workplace.
Inside the first month tax payments have been eligible to be paid, Smith mentioned 84% of the tax base had already paid — bringing the whole to $6.2 million collected.
“That set a file,” the chief deputy mentioned. “We’ve by no means collected that a lot within the first month.”
So far as what LaRue Countians can count on to see from the sheriff’s workplace in 2022, Smith mentioned residents will see an elevated presence across the county.
“We’re going to proceed being proactive and getting medicine off the road, which goes to maintain different crimes off the road,” he mentioned. “We’re going to proceed focusing on speeders and aggressive drivers to assist hold accidents down.”