THE STORY Smyrna Police news, regardless of what the police report is, seems to be our most viewed stories week in and week out, especially when it comes to drug arrests. The Smyrna Police Department has certainly cracked down on drug use in town; one such arrest in May yielded nearly 1,200 bags of heroin while a November arrest brought in over 700 grams of suspected marijuana and suspected cocaine.
"We have made a concerted effort over the past two years to get a stronger hold on drugs," said Police Chief Wil Bordley, who also made news by announcing his retirement from the department, effective Jan. 6.
Bordley contributes the crackdown on getting officers trained for those types of investigations and to bulking up the department's Special Investigations Unit.
THE IMPACT The number of drug arrests has increased, Bordley said. The SIU made 195 drug arrests in 2013, as of early December, along with the 105 drug arrests made by patrol officers.
The town's Quality of Life Unit helped as well, but the unit was disbanded this summer due to manpower. Two drugs Bordley has seen a lot of this year have been marijuana and heroin.
While some times the suspects in these cases find their way back to selling drugs, Bordley said the department has no control over that, but if officers didn't make repeated arrests of suspects the drug problem would only get worse.
"When it comes to drugs it is really based on the activity of our police officers because it's not like we get a lot of drug tips," Bordley said. "It's based on the hard work of police officers to keep the drug market under control."
WHAT'S NEXT Bordley said he hopes Smyrna Town Council will approve his recommendation to get the department staffing back up to 23 officers in 2014, which will help put more focus on preventing drug use in town.
"I would say that we have a good handle on it. We don't have a lot of open air market drug areas. We have less then when I started here many years ago," Bordley said. "We do an outstanding job with the numbers we have."