GLENS FALLS — Arrests rose 15 percent and drug arrests skyrocketed nearly 85 percent in the city during 2017, according to the Glens Falls Police Department’s annual report.
The report showed a general increase in most law enforcement categories, with more felonies, misdemeanors and noncriminal charges being filed than the year before.
Drug arrests rose markedly in a trend that the head of the Police Department’s Detective Division attributed to more cooperation between police agencies in the region.
Detective Lt. Peter Casertino said the region’s drug problem does not seem to have worsened, but officers from throughout the region are sharing intelligence and manpower to target it.
“We are working more with other agencies,” he said.
The Detective Division also investigated five fatal suspected drug overdoses in 2017.
Calls for service increased by 10 percent, with the department fielding 16,181 calls during 2017.
For the first time in eight years, driving while intoxicated arrests rose. Overall though, they remain well below the high of 175 set in 2009, and the drop has been credited to the cleanup of South Street, change in the city’s “last call” time to 3 a.m. (from 4 a.m.) and closure of several bars.
The department dealt with a double homicide in 2017, the killing of a mother and child that resulted in a major multi-agency investigation and prosecution. The suspect, Bryan M. Redden, pleaded guilty to two murder counts last month.
Glens Falls Police Chief Tony Lydon said the increase in drug arrests stemmed from a “proactive approach to policing,” although he did not elaborate.
The department did initiate a number of beefed-up foot patrol efforts on weekends during the spring and summer to respond to increases in complaints of possible gang activity in the wake of a brawl and stabbing.
Notable in the report:
* The department dealt with four robbery complaints in 2017, with only the November bank robbery at NBT Bank on Glen Street remaining unsolved.
* The Police Department has upgraded its audio-video equipment for recording interviews and put equipment in additional rooms.
* Glens Falls Police brought in five new officers during 2017. The department has 28 officers, with a recruit in the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Training Academy who will join the force later this year.
* The department’s officers did not use their Taser electronic stun guns at all during the year.