The Toccoa Police Department is reporting a significant rise in the number of drug arrests and drug investigations in the city in 2013.
Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell recently released the 2013 year-end statistics for the police department.
Those numbers show that in 2013, the Toccoa Police Department made 117 drug arrests and conducted 113 drug investigations.
That is compared to 77 drug arrests and 56 drug investigations in 2012.
According to Jarrell, those numbers only include arrests made by police and does not include anything done in conjunction with the N.C.I.S. team.
Jarrell said he is very pleased to report those increases.
“We as a department sat down and started looking at our crimes and what was going on and the thing that we kept coming back to was that one key element was drugs,” said Jarrell. “Officers have been more aware of the type calls they are responding to, taking the time to investigate the calls they are responding to. As a result, they are finding the core problem is someone is there with drugs or someone has been using drugs.”
Overall, the police department responded to 1,802 incidents in 2013, up from 1,741 incidents in 2012.
Of those, Toccoa Police cleared 1,425 incidents, up from 1,286 in 2012. 728 of those were cleared by arrest in 2013, also an increase from 2012, when 489 were cleared by arrest.
The number of burglaries stayed exactly the same, at 73, in 2013. However, there were significantly more residential burglaries in 2013 than business burglaries, whereas in 2012 those numbers were almost equal.
Thefts went from 444 in 2012 to 439 in 2013.
Robberies doubled, going from 7 in 2012 to 14 in 2013. However, Jarrell says that some of those robbery calls were determined not to be robberies or were situations where people were robbed while attempting to purchase drugs following an investigation.
Overall, crimes against persons, including robberies, assaults, criminal trespasses, and similar crimes, dropped from 367 in 2012 to 264 in 2013. That decrease stemmed largely from drop in the number of criminal trespass cases of nearly 100 from 2012 to 2013.
Miscellaneous incidents, including forgeries and domestic incidents, increased from 801 in 2012 to 913 in 2013.
Elsewhere, the number of accidents were also up on city roads.
In 2013, Toccoa Police worked 301 accidents in city roadways, up from 282 accidents in 2012.
Jarrell said Big A Road was the main trouble area, as always.
However, he said speed was not always the main factor in the accidents.
“We have motorists in the past who have attempted to ‘beat the light’,” said Jarrell. “Most of the time, it is just driver inattentiveness.”
Jarrell said the worst areas on Big A Road for accidents were the intersection with Currahee Street, the intersection at Wal-Mart, and the area around Ingles’ and McDonald’s.
In all, Toccoa Police responded to a total of 18,999 calls for service last year. That is also up from about 17,680 calls in 2012.
Overall, Jarrell said he feels 2013, his first full year as police chief, has been good to the police department.
He credited the men and women of the police department for working hard and working as a team to make 2013 a success.