Dickinson facing rising drug crime, motor vehicle theft rates

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From drugs to shootings — and everything in between — the Dickinson Police Department has been busy in 2021.

Lt. Mike Hanel, from the Dickinson Police Department, said, “We had the near-drowning out at the dike, that was kind of a higher incident call. Obviously, the fatal pedestrian accident that we had on the south side of town pretty much back to back.”

He said motor vehicle thefts and drug crimes have increased in the Queen City.

“And that’s typically the nature of law enforcement. It’ll be dead quiet, and then before you know it, we’re dealing with several major incidents back to back,” said Hanel.

He says the increase in calls for service for this year may stem from the shutdown.

“Last year we kind of had to throttle back our proactive activities just because of the COVID restrictions. We didn’t want to have our PR events, those sort of items, so that causes to, you know, diminish our numbers in the realm of proactive activity,” said Hanel.

We also spoke with the Stark County Sheriff’s Department, and found some pretty similar trends.

Lt. Eldon Mehrer from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office said, “That’s actually one area where did see somewhat of an increase is the drug trend. And actually, some of our, what I would say, maybe our violent type crimes, assaults, domestic violence, those were up slightly in 2020 compared to 2019. And I would say going forward here in 2021, we do see a slight increase compared to where we were last year.”

He said this could be due to a number of causes, but there’s something that could skew the numbers slightly.

“In my experience, you do seem to see the same names popping up occasionally for same offenses, or accompanying offenses,” said Mehrer.

Lt. Hanel says with restrictions easing, and more traffic on the road, he expects the numbers to continue to rise into the summer.

Lt. Mehrer said a similar trend happened at the peak of the oil boom.

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