Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station officials confirmed community concerns last week that drug activity has been increasing in the past five years.
While drug activity has increased in the Crescenta Valley, sheriff’s station Capt. Dave Silversparre said at the Crescenta Valley Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coalition meeting April 22 that the issue is not rampant.
“If it was out of control in the La Crescenta area, I think we would have seen an increase in calls for service,” he said. “I think we would see an increase in calls of people under the influence [and] overdose calls. We haven’t seen that at this point. I would think that we would have more information coming in.”
Of 179 narcotics arrests in the station’s coverage area in 2009, 81 occurred in the unincorporated area of La Crescenta, Narcotics Det. Chris Seitz said.
Of the 81 narcotics arrests, six were heroin offenses, he said. That comprises 7.4% of all narcotics arrests in La Crescenta.
To date this year, there have been 25 narcotics arrests in La Crescenta, Seitz said. Of those, two were heroin-related, he said.
Silversparre said no heroin-related arrests have been made at Crescenta Valley High School in the past two years.
“It seems like some of our drug issues [take place] at the beginning of the school year,” he said.
When the school year began, Silversparre said, sheriff’s deputies found several students at the high school and Rosemont Middle School in possession of marijuana, Ecstasy pills, LSD and chemical-cleaning products that were being inhaled.
In another incident, deputies discovered a student was trying sell methadone, a medication used to kick opiate addiction, to other classmates, he said. The student stole the methadone from his mother’s medicine cabinet, Silversparre added.
Sheriff’s deputies have used dogs that can sniff out drugs at the schools, said Scott Shinagawa, the high school’s resource deputy.
The dogs found marijuana and a pipe to smoke the drug, he said.
While no heroin arrests have been at the high school, that doesn’t indicate the drug isn’t in the community, officials said.
“We identified heroin as a target for the area, and we have been working diligently [and] hard at it,” Silversparre said.
Still, with community concerns of drug activity, especially heroin use, becoming more prevalent, Silversparre said sheriff’s deputies have been trying to address the issue by meeting with Glendale Police Department officials and other law enforcement agencies.
Deputies have conducted probation and parole sweeps, are working with crime analysts to determine drug trends, and have been working with drug informants, he said.
At the meeting, Silversparre also told residents that the station’s deputies would be available to talk to them about community issues.
“It is our part and our goal to make sure this is the safest place it possibly can be,” he said.