The Woodstock Police Department reported incident totals are down slightly in 2018 from the previous year, according to the Virginia State Police annual crime analysis report.
“It is rewarding when we see crime statistics go down but we continually examine crime trends and look for ways to improve our community, ” said Chief Eric Reiley.
The 2018 crime report lists the department as having reported 305 incidents for a total of 384 offenses. The 2017 crime report lists 341 total incidents.
Drugs are the town’s biggest reported offense.
The crime report indicates the department responded to 90 reported drug or narcotic violations, making 72 adult arrests and seven juvenile arrests. The 2017 crime report recorded 124 reported drug or narcotics violations.
Reiley said the department continues to see an increase in mental health and narcotics calls, which he noted can often go hand in hand or can drive other behaviors.
“We are doing everything we can to reduce the drugs coming into the community,” he said.
Reiley said the department works closely with the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force, adding that during the last decade, the region has seen a sharp increase in drug crime.
There is also a multi-agency/organizational effort underway to create a crisis intervention center, he said. That would allow law enforcement agencies to take someone in a suspected mental crisis to the center instead of to an area hospital.
The goal is to provide more efficient services to the individual. It should also shorten an officer’s time spent on the calls, which as the system is now can tie up an officer for hours at a time, Reiley said.
Woodstock’s next biggest reported offense in 2018 was 55 reports of destruction, damage or vandalism, according to the crime report. The 2017 report states there were 63 reports.
The next highest-reported crime was simple assault — 46 reports — and eight reports of aggravated assaults in 2018. The previous year there were 60 reports of simple assault and seven reports of aggravated assault.
Reiley said he is a big believer in education and prevention rather than investigation. He said the department tries to build relationships with other organizations to offer solutions to problems that often result in more crime.
“(If) we respond to multiple calls to a home then we ask is there a family suffering from domestic violence where we can get them into resources,” Reiley said.
The FBI has tagged Interstate 81 as a corridor for human trafficking.
Woodstock police have had no reported cases of human trafficking but in an attempt to be proactive, they held a seminar last year with employees of area hotels on how to identify possible victims of the crime.