During an Election Day meeting of the Dillon Town Council, Interim Police Chief Brian Brady said he’s noticed the arrival of a disturbing new drug on the streets of Summit County.
Although the recent filling of numerous department vacancies has resulted in more officers on the street — resulting in fewer reports of street crimes like burglaries, automobile breakins and trespass violations — arrests have skyrocketed in other criminal areas. So far this year, Dillon police officers have made 61 arrests compared with just 20 through September 2012.
A bulk of those arrests have been alcohol-related traffic offenses, such as driving-under-the-influence infractions, Brady said.
The increase in those arrests is thanks to a Colorado Department of Transportation grant that provided Dillon with the funds it needed to ramp up enforcement.
Although getting dangerous drivers off the road is a good thing, Brady said, officers also have noticed an increase in drug-related arrests. But the arrests are not tied to the relatively tame herb, as they were in the past, Brady said.
Since marijuana’s legalization earlier this year, Dillon police officers are seeing an increase in the amount of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and heroin, as well as a less commonly known heroin alternative called “Krokodil” — pronounced “crocodile” — on the streets of Dillon.
Krokodil is a codeine-based drug often mixed with lighter fluid, gasoline or household cleansers that is said to produce heroin-like effects at a fraction of the cost.
It gets its name from green-tinted lesions that occur on the body at injection sites.
“We’re seeing a trend big time and that’s what worries me about the marijuana thing,” Brady said. “I’m not necessarily opposed to (retail marijuana), but when people want a bigger high they tend to mix it with something.
“Come Jan. 1, buying marijuana is going to be as easy as buying a carton of milk. Are people going to be satisfied with the high or should we expect drugs like Krokodil to become the next long-term problem?”
In addition to the discovery of Krokodil on the streets of Dillon, the interim chief also talked about stepped up parking enforcement in the town. As one might guess, increased officers on the streets has resulted in the writing of more parking tickets in a town already known for parking disputes among its visitors and residents and local law enforcement.
To date, Dillon Police Department officers have written 267 tickets, up from 197 through September 2012.
“Parking citations are way up because we got rid of 72-hour parking lots near Lodgepole Street and moved to all permit parking,” Brady said. “We had a lot of people parking illegally because they were either rebelling against the change or because they didn’t know about it.
“City Market also has been calling us a lot lately because of cars parked in handicapped spots or in the fire lanes.”
But the number of parking tickets being written should go down considerably in the coming months, Brady said, due in part to direction from town council to issue more warnings, as well as the coming winter season. To date, Dillon Police Department has issued 405 traffic warnings compared with 339 through this time last year.
“Inside the town core we never write tickets; we always issue warnings,” Brady said. “Parking citations are going to go down considerably because we have a mandatory tow policy during the winter, so we can clear roads of snow.”
“Come January 1, buying marijuana is going to be as easy as buying a carton of milk. Are people going to be satisfied with the high or should we expect drugs like Krokodil to become the next long-term problem?”
Dillon interim police chief