Nearly 100 meth labs were found in Highland County in 2013 by the sheriff’s alone, according to a year-end report released Wednesday sheriff Richard Warner that also included arrest numbers, charges, dispatch calls and more.
According to the report, the sheriff’s office responded to 99 meth labs last year. Ten of those were to assist neighboring counties, and 89 were within Highland County.
The report goes further and breaks down how many math labs were discovered in the townships. Those are as follows: Paint 19, Liberty 16, Dodson 12, Madison 10, Union 10, Brushcreek 6, Jackson 5, Fairfield 3, Penn 3, Marshall 2, New Market 2 and Washington 1.
No meth labs were reported in Clay, Salem, Hamer, Concord and Whiteoak townships.
Warner previously said that the county’s high number of meth labs in relation to other areas is not necessarily because there is a bigger meth problem in Highland County, but because the county’s law enforcement agencies have been “proactive” and taken strides to combat the problem.
Warner said officers, both in the sheriff’s office and in local police departments, have been trained to deal with the hazardous materials involved in meth labs and neutralize the scenes.
Twenty-three of last year’s meth labs were processed by HCSO, the report says.
On a related matter, the report also addressed specific charges levied by county law enforcement throughout the county. Of the 343 felony charges listed for last year, more than 100 were meth related.
Total arrests for 2013 are listed in the report as 2,316. Those are further broken down as traffic 219, criminal 884, felony 344, and warrants 1,213.
In 2012, the total arrests were 2,424, and 3,143 in 2008.
Warner said if anyone suspects or witnesses drug activity, they should call HCSO at 937-393-1421. He said a lot of times drug arrests are a result of citizen tips.
Contained in the report’s miscellaneous statistics for 2013: there were 1,799 criminal investigations, 2,318 new inmate bookings, 79,029 inmate meals, 536 dogs were seized, 57 dogs were surrendered by their owners, and 415 dogs were adopted.
Crash statistics for 2013 are that out of 281 crashes, 190 were non-injury, 36 had injuries, 52 involved deer, and five were fatal.
In 2012, there were 330 crashes reported with 194 non-injury, 44 with injury, 92 involving deer, and 10 fatal.
In 2008, there were 624 crashes with 281 non-injury, 53 with injury, 291 involving deer, and nine fatal.
Warner said the number of crashes handled by HSCO is less in more recent years because the department first calls Ohio State Highway Patrol since the main job of the state’s law enforcement agency is to patrol roads and enforce traffic laws. He added that with OSHP handling crashes, HSCO personnel are freed up to deal with other types of calls.
According to the report, the sheriff’s office answered 46,701calls in 2013. Of those calls 20,691 were for 9-1-1, 5,273 for squad dispatch, 1,391 for fire department dispatch, and 917 were dog related.
On further breakdown, Hillsboro accounted for 1,386 of the squad dispatches and Greenfield accounted for 2,390. Hillsboro had 217 fire department dispatches and Greenfield had 515.
Greenfield’s numbers are calls for the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, which last year covered six townships.
K-9 reports for last year, according to the report, are seven drug finds, nine successful tracks out of 11, 15 vehicle stops, 10 apprehensions, 18 officer assists, one area search, two school searches, and five jail searches.
The sheriff’s report lists that there were 140 adult sex offenders and 10 juvenile sex offenders living in the county last year.
Concealed carry permits nearly doubled from 2012 with 1,114 new permits issued last year as opposed to the previous year’s 561.
“Overall I think the office has done a good job,” Warner said. Looking at the numbers, he added, “with the limited amount of resources we have, everyone has done an excellent job.”