DECEMBER 3, 2006 -- POSTED AT 6:45 P.M. CST
TRUMANN, AR -- The Trumann Police Department continues to crack down on their county's problem with drugs.
"First thing we had to do is face we had a problem here in Trumann," says Chief Larry Blagg, with the Trumann Police Department.
In 2004, Larry Blagg was named Trumann's new Chief of Police. Upon taking the job, he said he quickly realized to make the community safer; his department had to get to the root of the problem, drugs.
"Our drug arrests increased 67 percent and the other crimes like theft and burglary, and breaking and enterings, physical crimes all fell, so we know we're after the right thing," says Chief Blagg.
Blagg started a drug tactical unit, implemented interdiction and intervention programs for the officers to use, and started doing county wide drug busts several times a year. Blagg says the program has been tremendously successful over the last 2 years because of the team effort.
"We couldn't do it by ourselves. If the community fought us on this one, we'd be in trouble but with the judge working with us, the community working with us, and these officers up here giving 200 percent everyday. It's a good feeling," says Chief Blagg.
In October, the Trumann PD, along with other agencies throughout the county, performed one of their annual drug raids. They were given more than 200 arrest warrants and in just a matter of hours, they put over 70 people in jail. Chief Blagg says it wasn't necessarily about making arrests, but rather about getting these people some much needed help.
"That was a very successful thing. That kept a smile on my face, not because we arrested a lot of people, but because it was successful. A lot of those people that were arrested for that are on their way to missions or trying to get into the missions. They're doing everything they can to get better, they really want to try," says Chief Blagg.
The October drug bust was their most successful yet, but Blagg says it's not over. He knows this fight against drugs in his town is an on-going battle, but he says it's one worth fighting if it makes Poinsett County a better place.