Williamsburg Police Department K-9 units had a busy year in 2019 with 38 tracks most of which were for criminals, and over 79 drug finds from searches, Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird told the Williamsburg City Council during its monthly meeting Monday.
The police department currently has two police dogs, Vicko and Nitro, who are trained for multiple purposes, including tracking, drug detection and apprehension of suspects.
Bird noted that the department is getting a third multipurpose dog to replace Vicko, who has been in service for about eight years. Typically most police dogs have to retire for health reasons when they get to be eight to nine years of age.
Vicko is still healthy now, but Bird said the department wants to have another dog ready to go at whatever point Vicko comes off the road.
The department also has a nine-month-old porcelaine hound, which is in the midst of being trained in tracking and cadaver searches. So far the dog has done well with tracking training, and is moving onto cadaver training, Bird said.
The Whitley County Detention Center paid half the cost for the dog.
The Williamsburg Police Department and Williamsburg Fire Department both gave end of the year reports for 2019 during Monday’s city council meeting.
During 2019, police opened 263 criminal cases, and 106 of those cases resulted in criminal indictments. A total of four people were indicted for murder in those cases, but Bird noted that none of the murders actually took place in the city.
The Deep Branch Road triple homicide that Williamsburg police ended up investigating, resulted in three people being indicted for murder, and police also responded to a domestic call just outside the city limits, which resulted in another murder indictment.
Williamsburg police issued 1,628 citations, made 1,355 criminal arrests, answered 8,278 calls made to 911, and responded or investigated 15,415 incidents.
The number of arrests were up significantly, Bird noted.
Police also responded to 276 traffic accidents, but only 26 of those accidents had injuries, and there were no fatalities.
Bird said that the drug his department is most commonly seeing on the streets is crystal methamphetamine or “ice,” which is an extremely potent and pure form of the drug.
“We are overrun with it,” he added.
Police aren’t seeing much heroin use in the city, but have found it during traffic stops on the interstate.
Bird warns he expects to see heroin hit the streets here at some point.
Williamsburg firefighters also had a busy year.
Williamsburg firefighters answered 399 total calls in 2019, which included 106 EMS medical assist calls.
Firefighters responded to five building fires, which include things such as outbuildings, eight structure fires, three cooking fires, four mobile home fires, and six passenger vehicle fires.
Williamsburg Fire Chief Larry Todd noted that only one of those structure fires was inside the city, and the rest were mutual aid for surrounding fire departments.
Firefighters also responded to 17 motor vehicle accidents with injury, performed extrication from vehicles eight times, responded to one motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian, set up 24 emergency landing zones for medical helicopters, and assisted 32 people in distress.
Todd noted that the department had no fire fatalities in 2019, and none from the prior year either.