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Suburban police chief targets drug abusers
NEWTOWN, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Guns, drugs and needles are just a few of the items Newtown Police have seized from drivers passing through the village of 2,600.
Police Chief Tom Synan said drug users from eastern counties and the suburbs are using State Route 32 to get to Cincinnati to buy drugs. He's devised strategies to stop them.
"When people drive through Newtown and they see an officer on the side of the road they're just automatically thinking we're doing traffic enforcement, we're being tough on motor vehicle laws," Synan said.
But the stepped up traffic enforcement's primary goal: interrupting the drug trade. Tuesday night, a Local 12 News camera captured a drug arrest on S.R. 32. Police pulled over Joel Michael Cornell. An officer on scene said he could smell marijuana from the outside of the vehicle. Synan said officers found 97 grams of marijuana and wax. Wax is a highly concentrated form of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. It can contain as much as 90% of THC.
"What we were told is they actually ball it up and smoke it," Synan said.
Chief Synan said the drug officers see most is heroin. He said the drug isn't dealt in Newtown but he and his officers have caught people from other communities shooting up in the cemetery. Last week, a woman overdosed in the cemetery but EMT's were able to save her. Synan said he pulled over a man who was shooting up in the car as he approached him.
Officer Spencer Bischoff pulled over three people Thursday morning who were carrying needles.
"It's just gone out of control. It's almost if not a daily, a weekly basis of coming across somebody even if you're not finding something on them, you're still coming across people that admit to heroin use," Bischoff said.
Chief Synan said Newtown is a safe, low-crime community. He said residents help keep crime down by working with police and providing tips. He hopes his department's efforts to crackdown on drugs keeps his community and others safe.
"What we try to prevent are the residual crimes and by residual crimes i mean the burglaries, the thefts, the robberies, the shootings."
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