EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNEW SHERIFF, NEW PLAN
from Eyewitness News Online
New Putnam Sheriff Comes With Drug Fighting Plan; New Chief Deputy
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jan. 3, 2013 11:16 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 3, 2013 11:27 PM EST
Winfield , Putnam County , West Virginia
The new sheriff of Putnam County has hit the ground running and says he's on a mission to curb the drug problem that plagues the area.
Sheriff Steve Deweese has come on board with five main goals, and four of those, he says, deals with combating drugs that he believes has contributed to more than 80% of crime in the county.
Three days into his new job and Sheriff Deweese is ready to make some changes. Twenty-one years ago he says he set a goal to one day be sheriff of the county he's always called home.
"Not too many people can stand up and say, 'I set a goal 20 plus years ago and here I am standing today in that position,'" says Deweese.
Decades of experience that's opened his eyes to many things. Most notably, he says, is the rampant drug problem.
Deweese wants to fully utilize their drug tip line that currently goes straight to an answering machine. Soon, it will be answered by a deputy 24 hours a day.
He's also vowed to bring back a K-9 unit in the county, put Prevention Resource Officers in schools, and dramatically increase the amount of drug task force officers.
"Eighty-six percent of all crime commited in Putnam County is drug related. If I can deter 10 or 15 percent of that crime in the first six
Few people know more about fighting drug crimes that his new Chief Deputy, Jack Luikart. Luikart has worked the last 17 years as a detective, with the majority of that being undercover, assigned to the Metro Drug Unit. His goal is also to fight drugs, rid the streets of dealers, and bring a sense of safety to the county.
"To help strengthen our unit even more and give them the equipment and the manpower that is needed to help fight the drugs and continue the progress that we have," he said.
With nearly 50 years of combined experience, the duo says they're optimistic about the future of the department.
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