Accomplishments in 2008
Operation Our Town awarded a total of $200,000 in grants during the 2008 grant cycles to community organizations for proven drug use treatment, education and prevention programs.
An additional $200,000 in grants were made to law enforcement to help special operations — warrant squad, interdiction squad, saturation patrols, search warrants, drug hot line, stakeout details, drug raids and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations.
Special operations search warrants executed: 29
Blair County drug raids: 7
Amounts of drugs seized:
- Marijuana: 525 grams
- Heroin: 22 grams
- Other Narcotics: 105 dosage units
- Cocaine: 19.2 grams
- Crack Cocaine: 216 grams
- Designer Drugs: 496 dosage units
Value of drugs seized:
- 2007 -- $62,621
- 2008 -- $146,205 (133% increase)
Blair County drug arrests:
- 2007 – 386
- 2008 – 543 (29% increase over 2007)
Part 1 offenses, including violent incidents such as homicide, robbery, and assaults:
- 2007: Decreased approximately 14%
- 2008: Decreased an additional 3%
Crime rates - Altoona Metro Area assaults with a firearm:
- 2007: Decreased 70%
- 2008: Decreased an additional 25%
Saturation patrols: 12
Occurred in Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Tyrone Borough, Duncansville, Allegheny Township, Blair Township, and Frankstown Township.
2008: Audio/visual equipment, 10 additional tactical life vests, helmets, computers, printers.
Push Out the Pusher Calls
The “Push Out The Pusher” hotline (814-693-3020 or 866-693-3020) was upgraded to allow callers the option to talk directly with a live operator in the 911 Center.
- 2007: 1184 calls 3.2 calls/24 hr period
- 2008: 1419 calls 5.0 calls/24 hr period (20% increase in number of calls)
Operation Our Town initiated a Most Wanted List May 23, 2007:
- 24 listed
- 21 captured
- 88% capture rate
Overall accidental drug overdoses decreased 22% from 2006 to 2008.
Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio hired Attorney Peter Weeks as the drug prosecutor in July 2007, with the help of a three-year grant from Operation Our Town.
Cases: Over 500 cases assigned in 2008 with over 250 separate defendants
Jury trials: 8 trials, all convictions with all receiving State sentences
Forfeitures: Petitions filed for over $125,000 with orders issued for forfeiture of over $58,000 plus 3 houses and 5 automobiles
Bail Revocations: 14 revocation petitions filed
Over 35 Operation Our Town volunteers participated in nearly 20 Outreach events during 2008. Volunteers also distributed yard signs, bumper stickers and other materials throughout the community, raising the awareness of Operation Our Town and the Push Out The Pusher Hotline.