Traffic Accidents Decline In 2013, Drug Cases Expected To Rise In The New Year

Local News

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says not much has changed when comparing crime rates from 2012 to 2013.

While the official numbers have yet to be tallied, Sheriff Lutz said there’s been a slight increase in crime, but notes there are no unusual spikes. Lutz said while misdemeanor arrests have decreased, the number of felony arrests has increased.

"In 2013, we’re at about 288 arrests and we had 275 arrests in 2012," Sheriff Lutz explained. "Now that’s multiple charges on different suspects, but as far as cases generated by the detective bureau and felony cases, we were at 288 this year versus 275 last year. So that number went up a little bit."

So far this year, $147,000 worth of stolen property has been recovered. That number is down from $284,000 which was recovered in 2011 and over $500,000 recovered in 2012. 

Although those numbers are on the rise, the number of burglary-related arrests is down from 337 in 2012 to 288 in 2013, according to Lutz. A variety of factors including a traffic safety grant, contributed to the decrease of traffic accidents in Muskingum County. There were 361 traffic accidents in 2012 compared to 227 so far this year. As far as homicides, that number has stayed the same over the past three years, with Muskingum County averaging three homicides a year. Lutz said he doesn’t have specifics on drug cases, but  expects them to continue rising.

"We have a good drug unit, we’ve had success working with the city and we’ve done a lot of good things. But there is an abundance of it and there is multiple different types of drugs being abused and it does make it very  tough to try to put a damper on some of those things."

While Lutz doesn’t have any specific goals for 2014, he hopes to make the job safer for deputies by updating technology and vehicles, and continue keeping Muskingum County residents safe.

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