by Chris Filoteo
KENEDY – The police department has seen an increase in drug arrests during traffic stops dating back to August, according to Chief Richard Ashe.
Calls for service in August were 651 compared to 476 in 2019.
“That number includes all of our traffic stops, emergency and non-emergency calls,” Chief Ashe said. “Anything we do falls into that number.”
According to Chief Ashe, out of the 651 August calls, 411 were traffic stops.
“A vast majority were self initiated contact where an officer makes a traffic stop,” he said. “We are making more drug arrests on traffic stops and finding more drugs. We are having more and more of that.
“We are also making drug arrests during investigations.”
Kenedy PD added a traffic officer to patrol the no truck route on Main Street, N 5th and 719 in June, which has helped with the increase in drug charges during traffic stops.
“I think we are getting better at finding drugs during traffic stops,” Chief Ashe. “We have a traffic officer that recently made several arrests. There are only a couple of ways to find drugs on people and the most common way is through traffic stops and during the interview that leaves officers to believe drugs are in the vehicle.”
Conversely, Chief Ashe wanted to cover what role police officers play in the community.
“I get a lot the time when people are upset with their neighbor after a dispute, or mad because their dog is barking,” he said. “They get made because they called the police and nothing happened. Please understand if you call and I tell you must speak to someone else, it’s because there is another person to handle that situation.
“Animal control does fall into the police department and that’s the avenue there. There is only one person that will answer at two in the morning and that is why they call us.”