Heroin Task Force Calls For More Calls

Feb 26, 2016

Members of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force discuss the need for information from the public in order to combat the heroin trade.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force is launching a new initiative to deal with the problem in the region. 

Tom Synan, Newtown's Chief of Police and director of the task force, says it's called Not In My Neighborhood and focuses on community support.

“We cannot do this alone,” he says.

“We need the public to get involved," Synan says. "When the public gets involved it empowers law enforcement in all of our neighborhoods to take a stand to tell those who sell or use heroin, not in our neighborhood.”

New signs advertising the phone numbers will be placed in public places to encourage more anonymous tips.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Synan says law enforcement has a pair of anonymous tip lines, along with e-mail and text capability, and will investigate every tip.

“Tips allow us to initiate investigations and often are the catalyst to making arrests,” the Newtown chief says.

Synan says tipsters should be patient if they don't see immediate action.

“What we’re doing is basically getting probable cause," Synan says. "It will launch an investigation. The other thing I want to say about tips is even if you think it’s small and it doesn’t matter, let us look into it. It’s not like we’re going to go crashing someone’s door down because you gave us a tip.”

Synan says information is shared among local police and sheriff's departments through the Fusion Center, which was originally created to gather information about terrorism.

Lieutenant Brad Winall is commander of the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit and says a tip led them to arrest three people for transporting eleven pounds of heroin from Chicago to Cincinnati.

“This information came directly from the public. The detailed information was integral to us developing the probable cause that we needed to go after this particular organization,” he says.

Winall says billboards advertising tip lines have been instrumental in gathering information that's led to arrests.