Signs of Drug Activity

The Battle Against Drugs

Like all U.S. cities, Danville faces a growing battle against drugs. The police can't solve this problem alone. Success requires community involvement. It is important that you know what an investigation requires and how you can help. It's often hard to be certain what you are seeing involves drugs, but some patterns may indicate drug activity:

  • An unusually large amount of traffic coming to the building - in cars, taxis, or walking - often at strange hours. Visitors may sometimes pound on doors or shout to be let in. This traffic is usually quick with people staying only a short time. Sometimes they don't go in at all; instead, someone comes out to meet them.
  • Finding drugs or drug paraphernalia (syringes, pipes, etc.) in the area.
  • Repeated, observable exchanges of items, especially where money is visible.
  • Offers to sell you drugs, or conversations about drugs that you overhear.
  • Noxious odors from or around the buildings, such as "musty" smells.
  • Buildings where extreme security measures seem to be taken.
  • Buildings where no owner or primary renter is apparent, and no home activities, yard work, painting / maintenance, etc., seem to go on.
  • Many communities have unpopular residents. But obnoxious or peculiar behavior, or a different lifestyle, racial or ethnic background, or economic level doesn't necessarily mean the person is a drug dealer.

How to Report Drug Activity

Don't assume the police already know, or that a neighbor will call. Don't assume one report is all that is needed. If the activity keeps on occurring, keep on reporting it. If the pattern changes, report that change. All neighbors affected by the drug activity are encouraged to report. For more information, please view the following:

Reporting In Progress and Ongoing Activity

  • For drug activity that is in progress or needs an immediate Police response, call 9-1-1. If a patrol car is available, an officer will respond.
  • Ongoing drug activity, which police need to be aware of, but which doesn't require immediate response, can be reported by calling (859) 238-1224. A police officer will take your activity report over the phone.

Officer Response Times
If a patrol car is free when you report drug activity, an officer will respond. However, drug transactions seldom involve any danger to either participants or bystanders, and crimes that endanger someone must have first priority. Also, drug deals are completed quickly and are often over before an officer can arrive.

Requirements for Arrest
Citizen reports usually can't be the primary cause for a drug arrest. Unless you have special training or experience with drugs or drug users, the courts will say an arrest based only on your testimony isn't justified.

Since few citizens can meet the strict legal standards, officers who do have the training and experience must make their own observations and collect evidence the courts will accept. Both your rights and those of other people have to be protected in the process of stopping drug trafficking.

Reports Provide Cause for Investigation
Your reports are important even if they cannot be used as the direct cause for an arrest. They allow the police to be a aware of the problem and provide a reason to undertake an investigation of a person or location.

The investigation may include drug buys made by undercover officers or reliable police informants. These buys are the best evidence and must be made under carefully controlled conditions. During the investigation you may not see any evidence of police activity. If sufficient cause can be established, police may seek a search warrant.

Persons who possess drugs will be arrested. The court may release them on bail however, and they may return to the neighborhood while they await trial. Dealers often move elsewhere or stop dealing after an arrest.

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