Poynette Village Board Trustee Bill Boor noted to Chief Fisher that there has been an alarming rise of drug arrests in the village and asked for Fisher’s thoughts on why that was the case.
A brief discussion then took place as part of Fisher’s monthly report to the Board during its April 12 meeting.
Fisher said it had a lot to do with the economy, with the pandemic having caused people to still be out of work. He also noted that simply the opportunity for drug use is there, and there is a lack of prosecution from the District Attorney’s office right now. Fisher said it’s “the duress of every municipality.”
“We really haven’t had that lack of prosecution before,” Fisher added.
Fisher said many are opting for drug use due to those lack of consequences, but he said that’s not the case in every arrest the village makes.
Fisher also noted that the addition of Lieutenant Adam Rogge to the department has resulted in more drug arrests because Rogge has been well-versed in narcotics while working in the Milwaukee area. Fisher said that Rogge has been training the department in what to look for in certain situations.
Trustee Chris Polzer added that 53 OWI arrests were made by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department in March 2021 alone.
“This is a nationwide issue, it’s not just unique to Poynette,” said Polzer, who is also on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors where he is Chair of the Public Safety Committee and secretary of the Judiciary Committee.
Polzer also noted that the county’s Sheriff’s Department also fielded calls for six overdose cases in March — two resulted in deaths.
Fisher even noted that members with the county’s department are seeking out Rogge because of his knowledge of working with narcotics.
“We’re just exposing (the problem) now,” Fisher said.
The Board approved the facility reservation policy related to athletic leagues and facility use as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission from its April 7 meeting.
“If they think it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea,” Trustee Jerry Burke said.
Also, during the public comment portion, four people spoke on the topic of liquor license fees. All thanked the village for waiving such fees in last year’s cycle, but wanted them to consider waiving them for this year as well.
That topic will be on the Committee of the Whole agenda for its April 26 meeting, prior to the Village Board meeting.