Sheriff John Hinton took some time out from a busy week to talk about the drug problem in Morrow County from the perspective of the Sheriff’s Office.
Hinton began by saying that Morrow County has a problem with drugs just like every other county in the state of Ohio. Drugs and drug trafficking continues to be a concern, but he emphasized that he does not believe it to be in the epidemic proportion of some other counties.
The 2016 year end Sheriff’s report shows a drop in theft and property crimes. Hinton said that is a good indication that the drug problem is not increasing.
“Drug and property crimes such as burglary, robbery and breaking and entering go hand in hand,” added Hinton. “The statistic is that about 86 percent of all crime is related to drugs and drug trafficking.”
Breaking and entering dropped from 160 reports in 2015 to 96 in 2016. Larceny dropped from 234 in 2015 to 154 in 2016. Vandalism had a small loss with 105 reports in 2015 to 93 in 2016.
Tips received from citizens are one of the most important aids to the Sheriff Office investigations. Hinton pointed to the March round-up of drug traffickers as an example of how the Sheriff’s Office will operate. He sees the job of the Sheriff and deputies as very straight forward.
“We investigate, we make arrests and we send traffickers to court,” Hinton said.
Deputies have had the most success with the tips that come in from citizens in the community. “If you see something, say something,” is not just a cliché for the Sheriff and deputies. In 2015 the office had reports on 219 suspicious persons or cars. In 2016 they had an increase of 368 reports filed on suspicious persons or cars. Hinton believes this shows that the citizens in the county are paying attention to the problem.
Another factor is the increase of security by residents and businesses. There were 279 reports filed on alarm drops in 2015 and 394 alarm reports filed by the office in 2016.
Hinton repeated several times that they are there to help in the Sheriff’s Office. He wants people in the county to feel free to call or stop in at the Sheriff’s Office. Anyone can call in at any time. A tip can remain anonymous if that is requested by the caller.
“We’ll do whatever we can to make the experience as good as possible for a person who calls in with a tip,” said Hinton. Ultimately, we want to keep Morrow County a good place to live.”
Morrow County Sheriff John Hinton