Waynesville Approves Increased Funding for County Drug Task Force

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In 2021, the county’s Drug Task Force investigated 669 new cases and drug tips. This resulted in 300 felony arrests; 101 misdemeanor arrests; 122 search warrants executed; confiscated 64 firearms; performed 1,501 traffic stops with 110 K-9 sorties/sniffs, according to the unit’s annual report.

In addition, the unit and other local police agencies collected 5,072 pounds of prescription drugs at two national drug return days, as well as county-wide drug drop-off boxes.

Arrasmith said drugs arrive from the southwest border and west coast states and flow through the Cincinnati and Dayton areas and remain readily available to the county’s addicted population. Traffickers also use the proximity of Interstates 71 and 75 to transport illegal drugs, he said.

As of mid-December 2021, the Ohio Department of Public Safety ranked Warren County as the 10th highest count in the state for fentanyl seizures and the 13th highest count for methamphetamine seizures.

Arrasmith said investigating prescription drug diversion crimes remains a priority for the Drug Task Force. In 2021, the state ranked Warren County first for non-opiate prescription drug seizures and third in the state for highest number of opiate prescription drug seizures, according to the task force’s annual report.

He said prescription drugs are still common drugs of abuse for many people, especially those in the medical field, as prescription drugs are more readily available.

Waynesville Village Council approved its annual contribution to the Greater Warren County Drug Task Force with an increased amount. The village has been billed a contribution of $5,668 for 2022, which is the same amount paid in previous years, village manager/police chief Gary Copeland said.

However, council members opted to increase the 2022 contribution to $9,000, which is about $3 per resident. Copeland said Waynesville’s contribution was about $2 per capita last year.

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“They do a lot for the county and we appreciate what they do,” Copeland said. “My goal is to keep Waynesville drug-free and I will accept any help I can get.”

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