Drug arrests double in Charles Town, W.Va.

January 22, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Charles Town Police Department doubled its number of drug arrests in 1996 compared to the previous year in an effort to crack down on drug activity in the city, while the number of traffic citations dropped slightly.

Capt. Louis Brunswick released the year-end report Wednesday on the activities of the 11-officer department.

His report detailed a change in the department's priorities from routine patrols to cracking down on local drug trafficking.

"If you keep chopping away at a rock, sooner or later there won't be anything there. That's how I feel about the drug problem," Brunswick said.

In 1996, the department arrested 99 people for drug offenses compared to 49 in 1995, Brunswick said.

"The message we want to get out is, `You're not going to do drugs in Charles Town and if you do you don't know who will be looking over your shoulder,'" Brunswick said.


Brunswick said the change in the department's priorities was a result of complaints from residents.

Brunswick said the department had to cut back on some routine patrols to spend more time in the problem areas where drug dealing has occurred.

Other information in his year-end report:

  • Officers responded in person to 1,498 calls in 1996.
  • The police department received a total of 3,572 telephone calls.
  • Another 1,948 people walked into the police department to either report a crime or to ask questions.
  • Officers wrote 1,853 traffic citations last year compared to 1,930 in 1995.
  • Police arrested 84 people for drunken driving in 1996 compared to 63 in the previous year. Brunswick credited the increase in drunken driving arrests to a state grant that paid officers overtime to work special patrols aimed at getting drunken drivers off the roads.
  • Police officers spent a combined 3,500 hours in court.
  • The department investigated six robberies, two sexual assaults and 41 batteries. There were no murders in Charles Town in 1996.
  • Officers had to use force eight times in 1996. In each case, the officers used pepper spray and did not need to use other weapons.
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