Obion County sheriff: Keep prescription drugs in a secure location
By: John Brannon Messenger Staff Reporter
By JOHN BRANNON
Messenger Staff Reporter
This message from Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder to citizens: Keep your prescription drugs under lock and key.
“The (illegal) drug of choice is meth, but prescription drugs are a close second,” Vastbinder said Friday. “Drugs such as Hydrocodone, Xanax, Valium and Oxycontin are at the top of the ‘want’ list.”
Vastbinder urges everyone never to leave prescription drugs in automobiles where they can be easily seen. “And keep them in a secure place in your residence,” he added.
Under lock and key in your house?
“Right. Here’s why. We have one subject in jail right now. He had one intention when he burglarized a place and that was to steal prescription drugs,” Vastbinder said. “He didn’t steal money, he didn’t steal property. He’d break into a house looking strictly for prescription drugs.”
So how did he get caught?
“In the act. He’s been charged, he’s in jail and he’s awaiting trial,” Vastbinder said.
Other topics addressed by the sheriff during a Friday interview include:
• Jail population
As of Friday, the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex held 120 prisoners, 30 of whom are federal and are being held for the U.S. Marshal Service.
“The number of state prisoners at the jail is down,” Vastbinder said. “We put a lot of prisoners in the penitentiary the last few months. There were plenty of beds available in state prisons so those who were being held here because they are state prisoners, we sent ’em on down the road.”
• Illegal drugs
“The manufacture of meth is down, not only here in Obion County but across the state,” Vastbinder said. “At the last state meeting, we were told it was down 57 percent statewide. But the influx of ‘ice,’ or Mexican meth, is still a problem.”
• Video cameras
“We just received a Byrne grant through the state to purchase five video cameras to go in our patrol cars,” Vastbinder said. “Those cameras are expensive — $5,000 apiece. We have 13 patrol officers. Five of our patrol cars will be equipped with one of these cameras. So wherever the patrol cars go, the cameras do, too. We are trying to get a grant through the Governor’s Highway Safety program to buy a sixth camera. But even if we get that grant, we still need more cameras. We’d like to equip all our patrol cars with a video camera. We are trying to do what we can to equip our men and patrol cars with the better equipment.”
Published in The Messenger 1.14.08