|Mayor Susan Haugh speaking to Wellsville|
Crime Watch Committee
In their last meeting of the year the Wellsville Crime Watch Committee had the honor of having Mayor Susan Haugh doing one of her favorite things. The Mayor was the guest speaker for the November meeting.
For her topic the Mayor spoke on a subject that has been near and dear to her heart, even before entering the Wellsville political arena. Since becoming a Village official that passion has only intensified. Since becoming Mayor, at the beginning of the year, the Wellsville drug scene has become one of her top priorities. She has devoted countless hours in enlisting help to supplement the efforts of our local law enforcement. With a limited budget the Wellsville Police Department is restricted for funds for their drug fighting resources. Their determination to fight the Wellsville drug problem is fraught with other demands on their time and money. It’s a determination that Mayor Haugh has embraced whole heartedly even at the risk of putting herself in peril.
She has personally put herself at the forefront of the drug fighting effort doing things that many men would be leery of trying. She has personally knocked on the doors of suspected drug dealers in town to present the occupants a letter of warning. She has personally told suspected dealers and users face-to-face that the party is over; it’s time to get out of “Dodge” or face the consequences. In her first few months in office she has left no doubt that she is lady that takes Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to “walk softly and carry a big stick” very seriously.
Even before taking office she initiated meetings with other County, State and Federal officials begging for whatever assistance they could render in fighting the Wellsville drug problem. She has not let the complexities of our legal system slow her down or discourage her efforts. She encouraged members of the Crime Watch Committee not to give up.
It’s a very slow process but it is beginning to show positive results. In January of this year there were 27 suspected drug houses in town. In August that number was down to 19 and now it down to 10. Put quite simply dealers don’t like being hassled and will move on to avoid it. That is especially true for suspected dealers that have warrants out on them for minor misdemeanor offenses, suspended driver’s licenses, etc. That unexpected knock on the door can come at any time. They don’t want that extra attention.
The Mayor said any and all efforts by everyone are greatly appreciated. All calls and tips are immediately passed on to the authorities. All calls are kept confidential and the caller’s identity is never disclosed. Another angle Village officials are working on to enforce is aimed at landlords or property owners that knowingly rent to known drug dealers and users. Doing so is in violation of Ohio Revised Code 2925.13. Anybody found complicit will be prosecuted to the limit.
Before closing the Mayor thanked all the agencies who are making efforts fighting the illegal drug scene. Those agencies include the Wellsville Police Dept., the CC Drug Task Force, the CC Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Patrol, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the US Marshalls. Haugh said they’re all committed to fighting the drug problem and have been extremely generous in helping our Village. Even though they may not be visible their efforts are continuing and it is something she promised to never give up on.
The Crime Watch Committee next meets Thursday, March 21, 2013.