The thing about drug operations is they can be set up anywhere, anytime.
And occasionally, it's not just police officers that work to find the bad guys. It may all boil down to a tip given by an observant resident.
Here are some things to watch for regarding suspicious neighborhood drug activity, according to Kent Police Lt. Jim Prusha and Cuyahoga Falls Police Capt. Jack Davis:
- There's an unusually large amount of traffic, often at strange hours. This traffic is usually quick, and the people stay only a short time. Sometimes they don't even go in at all; instead, someone comes out to meet them.
- Observable exchanges of items, especially where money is visible.
- Ability to afford items without a job -- cars, TVs, etc.
- Neighbors will continually host parties and appear to be under the influence of drugs.
- Repeated flickering of cigarette lighters.
- Windows are blocked out, preventing neighbors from seeing in.
- Finding drugs or drug paraphernalia (syringes, pipes, baggies, etc.) in the area.
- Noxious odors coming from around houses or buildings, such as musty or chemical smells.
- Houses or buildings where extreme security measures seem to have been taken.
After a report is provided, it may not always result in a drug arrest as some tips simply lead to dead ends, said Davis. At times, it takes sufficient evidence or a prolonged investigation, so be patient and keep a watchful, yet inconspicuous eye on suspicious neighbors, he said.
Anyone that suspects ongoing drug activity in Kent should contact the Portage County Drug Task Force at (330) 296-8626, said Prusha.
If drug activity is spotted in real time, residents should try and get descriptions of people, vehicles and the direction of travel, and call the Kent Police Department at 330-673-7732, said Prusha.