By AMY GAREIS
News-Herald Staff Writer
JEWETT – Keeping police protection in force is the goal behind a 1.5-mill levy in the village of Jewett, and officials said public support is needed to ensure passage on May 4.
An increase in drug and other crimes has Police Chief Ron Carter looking for residents’ backing to approve the first-ever levy because it would help the department maintain operations. Carter said since he first became chief in 2006, he has made a slew of arrests involving possession of marijuana, crack, cocaine, painkillers, heroin, paraphernalia and various weapons including a high-powered rifle, sawed-off shotgun and knives. In a town with a population of 780 people, the idea of a quiet rural hamlet has been impacted by crime.
“This all came under me since I became chief,” he said. “A lot came from traffic stops and drug raids. This department is going to continue working on the drug situation. This is a small town, but due to the amount of drugs and weapons seized, I think it’s important that Jewett keeps a full-time department operating.”
From thefts, break-ins, drug activity and burglaries to drunk driving and underage consumption cases, Jewett has seen a wide variety of crime. Last year’s cases resulted in eight arrests for possession, one on a drug warrant and six for drug trafficking. Carter said the busts ranged from local residents to people from Canton and Mansfield, and each investigation may take weeks to months of investigation.
“All of the open cases were solved and we had three or four open cases in 2009. The police department has done its job on getting guns, knives and drugs off of the streets,” he added. “I will be adding one or two officers within the next two months. Jewett is putting on the police levy and without it we can’t operate. We need this levy to continue. I encourage the voters to take a look at the pictures of what we have done. This is from four years with one officer doing this. By adding one or two more officers, I feel we can get a lot more accomplished.
He noted the council was aware of his work and all it has entailed, while he also planned to send letters to residents informing them about the department’s activities.
Read more about the Jewett police effort in Saturday’s edition of the Harrison News-Herald.