Updated Sun, May 25, 2014 10:43 am
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office will be taking on a new duty starting Sunday in the village of Glouster.
The post-midnight street patrols will be done by the sheriff’s office instead of the Glouster Police Department in order to allow the department to work more during the day, according to Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith and Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.
“They will no longer have any units after midnight,” Smith said Thursday. “If it’s a big case, we’ll call (the police department) in, but otherwise we’ll be in the Glouster area during that time.”
The change was agreed to after a meeting between local law enforcement, Blackburn and Glouster Mayor Miles Wolf.
“There’s a lot of drug activity that has been allowed to happen during the day and we’ve been able to stop a lot of that, but clearly (the Glouster Police Department) needs to patrol during the day,” Blackburn said.
The sheriff’s office has been present in the area most recently for the bust of an alleged prescription drug ring. The alleged “leader” of the drug ring, Derek Gyure, was arrested at a residence in Glouster and the area has been named as one of the main areas where the alleged drug trafficking was taking place.
Glouster police chief Luke Mace declined to comment on the change, and Wolf could not be reached for comment.
The police force and surrounding village law enforcements have been strapped for money and looking for ways to maintain police presence and not have to consider closing, although this wasn’t given as a main reason for the change in patrols in Glouster.
“I think we’re lucky Glouster still has a police department given the budget cuts that have been happening around the state,” Blackburn said.