Davel says impact of expanding drug use seen in rash of local crimes
The 2013 annual report submitted to the Fredonia Village Board reflects a largely law-abiding community, but postscript comments made by Village Marshal Mike Davel underlined that real-world problems are close at hand.
Davel specifically pointed to the impact the heroin epidemic is having on the community.
“Most property thefts are committed by folks addicted to heroin. We saw it last summer with things like cash, GPSs, radar detectors and CDs that were taken from vehicles, anything that can be used to buy the drug,” Davel said.
“Heroin addiction is likened to cancer, in that it affects everyone in the family.”
With that in mind, Davel said the best way to stymie the spread of heroin use by young people is for parents to be more assertive in monitoring the activities of their children.
“As a cop, I am probably a little farther to the right than many parents, but I look into my kids’ rooms all the time. When you are talking about something as addictive as heroin use, you want to stop it before it starts,” he said.
“Once they start, they are done.”
Davel said police face tougher standards for searching of vehicles on traffic stops than they did 10 or 15 years ago, resulting in fewer coincidental drug arrests.
Statistics from the annual report show:
• There were 211 arrests made in the community in 2013, with the most common offense for expired or suspended vehicle registration (48), and speeding (29).
• Twenty-four parking tickets were issued, all for violation of winter restrictions. The total is 20 fewer than 2012.
• Two operating while intoxicated citations were issued, including the driver of a semi on Highway 57 and a motorist who struck a light pole on South Milwaukee Street.
• Davel said the department also issued an increasing number of citations — with a $124 fine — for failure to have auto insurance. “Apparently, these are folks who just don’t want to pay up,” he said.
• The department has eight part-time officers who logged 3,567 hours — an average of 76 hours a week.
• The department has two squad cars — a 2003 Ford with 77,000 miles and a 2007 Ford with 74,000 miles. Both vehicles are now equipped with mobile data terminals.