The Blade/Lisa Dutton
In his monthly report to the Sylvania Township Trustees tonight, Sylvania Township Police Department reported a significant increase in robberies over last year, which the police chief attributed to drug abuse.
“Burglaries are up slightly. Robberies were way up. We're up slightly with our theft reports,” Police Chief Robert Boehme told the trustees.
“There are a lot of drugs out here. A lot of our thefts – a number of our robberies and such, are unfortunately drug abusers. That's a very big problem."
According to the department's records, there were eight burglaries in the township in September, and two robberies. Through September of this year, there have been 79 burglaries and 17 robberies in the township. In 2011, there were 74 burglaries and six robberies during the same time period.
But the department has also been working on two programs that relate to stopping drug abuse, he said.
In late September, the Sylvania Community Action Team sponsored a Drug Drop-Off Day at the Township Police Department and the City of Sylvania Police Department.
The collection sites accepted unused and expired medications, prescription drugs and vitamins. The turnout for collections was better than originally anticipated by the department.
“I believe we collected 88 pounds of prescription drugs. A pretty amazing amount," he said, adding that the event was “well-received” by the community.
He also said the police department is stepping up when it sends officers into Sylvania schools to teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, or D.A.R.E., in which police officers try to teach students how to live free of drugs and violence.
This fall, officers are conducting D.A.R.E. lessons at Hillview, Central and Whiteford elementaries.
He also said the department has been sending officers into Timberstone Junior High and Arbor Hills Junior High, just to maintain a presence. He said the officers stop by, “once or twice a day, just for a very visible police presence. The students know there's going to be a police officer around.”
Chief Boehme also reported that speeding tickets are down for the month of September, while parking tickets are up.
Contact Kelly McLendon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.