An increase in crime. The Washington County Sheriff's Office takes the year in review.
"In our assaults, that's gone up from 49 (in 2011) to 60 (in 2012). The burglaries have been 69 (in 2011) to 91 (in 2012) and we have had motor vehicle thefts, we've gone from actually 3 (in 2011) up to 10 (for 2012). I think our biggest one was breaking and entering, that was 61 (in 2011) and that went up to 107 (in 2012)." Sheriff Larry Mincks says this year a lot of the nearly 40 percent increase of breaking and enterings, he believes, can be attributed to three main people, who are now in the process of being prosecuted.
Not seeing an increase is aggravated murder and rape. They saw one aggravated murder in 2011 and one in 2014. Reported rapes are 14 for both years.
But another huge increase for the year is scams and the people falling for them. "I think people are finding it easy to call or give a sob story or give false pretenses. Hey you've won a big prize and you have to send one thousand dollars to get it processed." Sheriff Mincks says in 2013 they'll be hitting the scams hard, trying to protect the community.
He says now and in 2013 the main priority will always be answering calls to the community. They also plan to change tower servers to receive better service for dispatchers and deputies on the road, helping response time and communication.
Along with that, he plans to continue showing a presence in the drug scene. "We're continuing to see that probably 75 to 80 percent of our property crimes are related to narcotics.... I think we're finding more trafficking.we're finding more and more addicts that we're talking to, the ones that are cooperating with us, they're saying who ever they purchased it from went to Columbus and got it."
2013 will bring updated technology to better serve the community plus better training. "Make them aware of the latest technology that's out there, we're buying some new cameras, we have laptops in our cars and we hope by the end of the year to be able to do our reports from those laptops and our officers will not have to come in."
In the upcoming year Sheriff Mincks says they are taking an even closer look at school safety. They are talking with each school about new plans and plan to have an office in each school to stop by more often. "We're working very closely with the schools because we want to increase our presence in the schools."