TROY — The Troy Police Department responded to 2,622 more calls in 2018 than the year prior, according to its end-of-the-year statistics.
Officers responded to 26,885 calls in 2018 compared to 24,288 calls in 2017.
According to Troy Police Department Capt. Joe Long, the increase in incident calls may be attributed to the city’s growth, but also could be due to “peaks and valleys” of crime cycles.
“Seems like every three years we have a valley and then it goes up. Each year, our population goes up a little bit and we have more businesses in town,” Long said.
Capt. Shawn McKinney also attributed the increase in calls to the police department being fully staffed. With more officers on patrol, more violations, such as traffic infractions, are being recorded than in years prior, he said.
Opiate-related deaths dropped compared to 2017 statistics. In 2017, 124 overdoses were recorded with 12 deaths associated to opiate-related drug abuse in the city of Troy. Troy Police Department officers responded to 88 opiate overdoses in 2018, matching 2016 overdose numbers. The city reported nine opiate overdose deaths compared to four deaths in 2016.
Long attributed the drop in opiate overdoses to the increase in methamphetamine use due to the crackdown on heroin and fentanyl trafficking and related drug busts within the region.
“We saw an increase in meth the (fall of 2017),” Long said. “We are seeing it again already in 2019.”
Long said users of meth are more unpredictable, combative and exhibit erratic behavior due to the drug’s impact, which can last for days. Long used the example of a female who was arrested last week who claimed her home exploded and was knocking on doors on Ridge Avenue until officers responded and arrested her for trespassing. She was treated at Upper Valley Medical Center and then incarcerated. Another subject was reportedly combative with officers while being treated for meth use at the hospital, Long said. According to Long, the subject told officers he had used meth three days prior to treatment.
Capt. McKinney said the majority of methamphetamine is being trafficked through the same means as heroin, from Mexican drug cartels, following the same path as heroin trafficking.
Other areas of crime reported increased activity in 2018. Theft reports jumped in 2018 to 492 reports up from 444 in 2017. Auto thefts also more than doubled from 11 in 2017 to 25 in 2018. Of the 25 reported auto thefts, the city recorded six auto thefts in December and eight auto thefts in the month of August last year.