By Tina Alvey
Ronceverte police officers made 35 percent more arrests in 2012 than in 2011, Chief J.R. Byer Jr. reported to City Council.
Of the 175 people arrested in the River City last year, 50 were charged with felonies, according to Byer’s report. In 2011, records show 34 of 130 arrests were for felonies.
“We’re having more crimes, and more serious crimes committed,” Byer noted.
Arrests for driving under the influence nearly doubled from the previous year, with 28 charged in 2012 in comparison to 17 in 2011.
And, Byer reported, the people arrested are now more likely to be charged with multiple crimes. His report shows 238 charges arose from 2012’s arrests, compared to 135 a year earlier.
Also at Monday’s council meeting, Byer presented former Police Chief Bill Rose with a “retirement badge” in recognition of Rose’s 20 years of service with the Ronceverte Police Department.
Byer noted Rose is always willing to share his experience and insight with the PD when asked for help.
In other business:
— Fire Chief Casey Morgan reported that his department is also seeing greater volume, saying calls rose from 2011’s benchmark of 73 to 186 in 2012.
— Council adopted an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance prohibiting properties zoned commercial from being used as residences. Property owner Kenneth Anderson promised to sue the city over the new regulation.
— Council agreed to pursue a lease arrangement for a new, more accurate flow meter to gauge sewer use by the customers of Greenbrier County Public Service District No. 1.
— A Super Bowl party for the community will be staged again this year at the armory, with an admission charge of $12 per person, according to organizers. That fee includes all activities and amenities during the Feb. 3 party — food, drawings, games, child care. Proceeds will benefit the Ronceverte Main Street organization.
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