BEATRICE – Beatrice Police made 225 drug-related arrests in 2016, nearly twice the number as the year before. In the last ten years, the highest total recorded in any one year, was 134 arrests in 2011.
Chief of Police Bruce Lang says that’s one of the more concerning matters in the department’s 2016 annual report.
:20 “to pick up the slack”
Several arrests were made the past year over shorter time periods, but Lang says that’s not usually an indication of a spike in drug activity, but rather several long-term drug investigations being wrapped up, and arrests being lumped together at about the same time.
:47 “out of that group”
Lang says the biggest problem across the country now, is opiate addiction. But, he says southeast Nebraska hasn’t seen the problem in larger cities…where persons have been prescribed painkillers and become addicted to them. Some start doctor-shopping for painkillers, or resort to stealing them or buying them on the street.
Lang says the best drug investigators within a department start out as the very best police officers.
:30 “not deep undercover”
Lang says officers who become drug investigators are in that area for a minimum of two years, because of the time it takes to become proficient at it.
:32 “for a long time”
Of the 225 drug arrests made by Beatrice Police in 2016, 80 involved felony drug possession while 25 arrests were for possession or manufacture of illegal drugs, with the intent to distribute them. Other violations included possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana or other violations of state narcotics law.