Drug crackdown getting results

July 01, 1997


Staff Writer

A seven-week crackdown on crack and other drugs in the Jonathan Street "HotSpots" area has netted 47 arrests, according to Hagerstown Police Chief Dale Jones.

The joint initiative by patrol/neighborhood officers of Hagerstown City Police, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Narcotics Task Force was conducted between May 5 and June 25.

It was prompted by concerns about the growing number of violent drug dealers from other cities who have come to Hagerstown, police said in March.


Voicing those concerns were citizens, businesses, churches, the Hagerstown Housing Authority and Brothers United Who Dare To Care.

Jones said the crackdown will continue as long as the problem exists.

The project was launched after police told a joint meeting of the Hagerstown mayor and City Council and the Washington County Commissioners about the problem in March.

In addition to the 47 arrests made in or near the Jonathan Street area during the seven weeks, Jones said figures show that at least 90 percent of all drug arrests in 1997 have been in that area.

During the first half of 1997, the Narcotics Task Force logged 157 drug arrests. That is more than the 145 drug arrests made in all of 1995 and close to the 1996 figure of 196, according to Charles Summers, Narcotics Task Force director.

To date in 1997, city police have made 75 arrests for drugs, most of which were in the Jonathan Street target area, police said.

Jones said those arrested and charged included people selling and buying drugs at street level through high level dealers responsible for facilitating and trafficking drugs within the region.

The thrust of the "HotSpots" anti-crime initiative is to target high-crime geographic areas for crime prevention and enforcement efforts.

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