John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Crime Category

December 2018 Police Report: Progress Against Opioid Epidemic

Interim Police Chief Jason Harris presented the Calls for Service Report for December 2018 at the January 9, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In December, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,285 total calls, 227 (18%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown). See a summary of the report below. Note: Not all calls are listed.

Opioid Crisis Progress

I note that in December there were no calls for drug overdose and no calls involving the use of Narcan by Newtown Police, which is good news. In fact, according to the Chief’s report, for 2018, Police Calls in Newtown and Wrightstown townships for drug overdoses is down by about 40% (13 in 2018 vs. 22 in 2017). Calls involving Narcan use, however, increased by 50% (3 in 2018 vs. 2 in 2017).

Thanks once again to the Newtown Police Department for saving lives with Narcan. In fact, it was recently reported in the Bucks County Courier Times that police in PA saved more than 9,000 people from dying of overdoses and in the last year EMS agencies were responsible for 12,000 rescues in the state (see story embedded at the end of this post).

Preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show an 11 percent decline in Pennsylvania drug deaths between the 12-month period ending in May 2017 and the 12-month period ending in May 2018.

Meanwhile, Newtown Police continue to pursue drug pushers. There were 4 narcotics-related calls in December to bring the total to 32 for the year, a slight increase over the 31 narcotics calls in 2017.

FREE Narcan Available

Recently, I was contacted by Diane Rosati, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Commission, who asked me to spread the word that Narcan is available FREE to all residents of Bucks County.

Ms. Rosati encourages all residents who know someone who struggles with opiates to stop by one of the Commission’s three designated sites to pick up Narcan nasal spray.

You can visit the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, 600 Louis Drive, Suite 102A, Warminster, PA, to obtain Narcan Mondays and Tuesdays between 10 AM and 1 PM, while supplies last.

Staff will meet with individuals to:

  • Provide information on what N arc an is and how to use it
  • Offer handouts about local drug & alcohol resources; e.g. how to access treatment and recovery services
  • Make onnline instructional video about using Narcan available to view

Community Event

Traffic Citations

There were 100 total traffic citations in Newtown in December 2018, bringing the total number of citations to 1,367 for the year compared to 898 in 2017 – a 52% increase! 523 citations (38%) involve speeding.

There were 35 speeding citations in December. Only 4 (11%) of those were on Swamp Road. This compares to 38 Swamp Road speeding citations in November (see charts below).

Struck Deer

The number police calls involving struck deer in Newtown and Wrightstown totaled 191 in 2018 vs. 154 in 2017. The December numbers - at least in Newtown - remained high.

 

 

Posted on 11 Jan 2019, 01:13 - Category: Crime

November 2018 Newtown Police Report

Interim Police Chief Jason Harris presented the Calls Report for November 2018 at the December 12, 2018, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In November, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,363 total calls, 263 (19%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown). See a summary of the report below. Note: Not all calls are listed.

Traffic Citations and Struck Deer

There were 99 total traffic citations in Newtown in November 2018. Sixty (60) of those involved speeding, which is a perennial problem of concern to residents. Residents along Swamp Road, for example, have been especially vocal concerning speeding and truck traffic on Swamp Road. In response, Newtown administrators and police asked PennDOT representatives to attend a public BOS meeting on September 12, 2018, to respond to questions and concerns of residents. You can view a video snippet of that session here.

Looking at the citation data to date for 2018, it is obvious that Newtown Police have responded by issuing significant numbers of speeding citations along Swamp Road in September, October, and November. In fact, 38 of the 60 (63%) speeding citations in November were issued to drivers on Swamp Road (see chart below).

Chief Harris cautioned drivers to be aware of deer on the roads and noted that there were 92 traffic accidents in November, 31 of which involved deer. There were 33 such incidents in October 2018 (see chart below).

Shop With a Cop Success!

On December 2, 2018, 35 Newtown Township, Newtown Borough, Middletown Toawnship and Upper Makefield Township police officers spent the day at the Target Store on E. Lincoln Hwy in Langhorne, PA, volunteering in the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.

Shop with a Cop is a national program pairing police officers with children to afford them a better holiday season.  The program allows children to view police officers in a different atmosphere and promote positive relationships. The program’s participants are elementary students from the Council Rock School District and St. Andrews Elementary School.  These children face life challenges such as a parent losing a job, homelessness, military deployment, economic shortcomings, and other hardships.

Over 150 kids were allotted $150.00 gift certificates to purchase gifts for themselves and their family members. The Shop with a Cop program is funded solely through the generosity of our local community’s residents and businesses.

Posted on 13 Dec 2018, 13:47 - Category: Crime

October 2018 Newtown Police Calls Report

Interim Police Chief Jason Harris presented the Calls Report for October 2018 at the November 14, 2018, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In October, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,549 total calls, 328 (21%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown). See a summary of the report below. Note: Not all calls are listed.

Chief Harris informed the BOS that on October 23, 2018, Officer Frank Goodwin administered Narcan to a young woman in cardiac arrest due to a drug overdose. The Chief noted that Officer Goodwin’s actions surely saved this person’s life. This was not the first time that Officer Goodwin administered Narcan and saved a life. In November, 2016, he and Officer Jules Ferraro saved a male victim of narcotics overdose. So far this year, the Newtown Police Department has used Narcan 3 times compared to 2 times for the entire year in 2017.

I wish to express my gratitude to officer Goodwin and other Officers who have saved lives with Narcan – I know it is not what they have signed up to do. That being said, I hope that going forward we will find a way to bring in other resources to encourage overdose victims saved by Narcan to get the help that they need so that they can overcome their addiction and not overdose again.

Chief Harris also submitted a Traffic Citation Summary for October, 2018, to the BOS. There were at least 22 citations for speeding on Swamp Road issued in October, 2018. That’s in addition to the 9 citations issued at the end of September, 2018. This confirms what we’ve been told by residents about speeding on Swamp Road – especially by Quarry trucks (see video here).

Chief Harris also submitted a Traffic Citation Summary for October, 2018, to the BOS. There were at least 22 citations for speeding on Swamp Road issued in October, 2018. That’s in addition to the 9 citations issued at the end of September, 2018. This confirms what we’ve been told by residents about speeding on Swamp Road – especially by Quarry trucks. The majority of these citations, however, seem to be handed out after 8:00 PM when presumably no quarry trucks are on the road. During business hours there have been several citations for “operating unsafe equipment” and “operating a vehicle without a valid inspection.” I wondered if most of these involved quarry trucks? Chief Harris confirmed that that was the case (see video below).

Posted on 20 Nov 2018, 01:51 - Category: Crime

September 2018 Newtown Police Calls Report

Interim Police Chief Jason Harris presented the Calls Report for September 2018 at the October 10, 2018, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In September, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,423 total calls, 238 (17%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown). See a summary of the report below. Note: Not all calls are listed.

A couple of things to note:

  1. There was a significant increase in the number of struck deer compared to August (19 vs 9). This is to be expected given that it gets darker earlier when more vehicles are on the roads commuting.
  2. There was also an increase in noise complaints (10 vs 3). I’m not sure if these complaints were made before of after the Newtown Board of Supervisors (except me) voted to “decimate” the noise/nuisance ordinance at the September 26, 2018 public meeting. Read more about that here.

Chief Harris also submitted a Traffic Citation Summary for September, 2018, to the BOS. At the meeting, I mentioned that there were 9 speeding citations handed out on Swamp Road between September 20 and September 26, 2018. This compares with just one such citation made in the previous 8 months of 2018! I assumed that this increased police activity on Swamp Rd was in response to residents’ complaints made at the September 12, 2018, meeting when PennDOT was here to answer questions about the safety issues of Swamp Rd (see video here). Chief Harris confirmed that that was the case.

Posted on 12 Oct 2018, 01:18 - Category: Crime

August 2018 Police Report

Interim Police Chief Jason Harris presented the Calls Report for August 2018 at the September 12, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting. In August, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,519 calls, 327 (22%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown). See a summary of the report below. Note: Not all calls are listed.

Posted on 14 Sep 2018, 11:32 - Category: Crime

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