Annual Report: EPD Made 91 Drug Arrests in 2021
Officers investigated 371 cases and received 2,412 hours of training
The Elkins Police Department has released its 2021 annual report, providing statistics and insights from a year that saw officers respond to 5,412 calls for service, make 91 drug arrests, and receive 2,412 hours of training—all while operating under the special challenges of the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.
During 2021, EPD officers investigated 371 criminal cases involving 420 crime victims. EPD investigations led to 261 arrests, including 91 for drug offenses; 81 for assault; 50 for larceny; 11 for forcible sex offenses; 3 for stolen motor vehicles; and 3 for kidnapping. Last year also saw the city’s first homicide since 2015; EPD Chief Travis Bennett reported to city council that the suspect was in custody within an hour of the initial 911 call.
EPD officers performed 1,121 traffic stops during 2021. These resulted in 330 citations and 791 warnings. The department also responded to 234 motor vehicle accidents and issued 800 parking citations.
Training was a particular emphasis last year. The 2,412 hours of training received by EPD officers included not only basic law enforcement topics and techniques but also advanced specialty instruction.
In early 2021, EPD hosted a series of multi-agency training sessions concerning active-shooter situations. This training focused on immediate solo response by the first arriving officer and ensured that all area law enforcement and emergency-medical personnel will be familiar with the same tactics and protocols in the event such a situation arises.
The department also conducted training for Randolph County Public School bus drivers about hostage and other emergency situations.
These training sessions further strengthened the skills and capabilities of the EPD SWAT team, which consists of officers trained to handle potentially dangerous situations such as high-risk warrant service, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, and protection details. During 2021, EPD SWAT operators served three high-risk warrants. They also responded to two separate barricaded-suspect situations and one request for assistance from another area department.
“This year brought the challenges of high call volume, pandemic precautions, and several high-risk, high-profile incidents,” says Chief Bennett. “I couldn’t be more pleased with my team’s performance. We’re looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings and continuing to work with the community to keep Elkins a safe and enjoyable location for residents and visitors.”