Chillicothe looks for new officers to help fight against drugs, prostitution

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH)–Battling two major crime efforts while working short-staffed, a local police force will get some badly-needed help with more boots on the ground.

Six Ross County women have either died under suspicious circumstances or just disappeared. Last week, local law enforcement started another battle to rid one of Chillicothe’s neighborhoods with a major drug interdiction.

Chillicothe police Chief Keith Washburn said they are operating with only 39 of a city mandated staff of 55. He said two new proposed police officers will definitely help in the battle.

charlotte tregoCharlotte Trego is one of two missing Ross County women. NBC4 spoke with her mother Yvonne Boggs about the need for more police officers, and asked if a new safety services levy and the new officers would help.

“Oh I think it will,” she said. “They need all the help they can get right now in order to solve these cases along with the drug problems. And also to find Wanda and Charlotte if possible.”

Wanda Lemons went missing last fall.

Chief Washburn said, even on daily calls, the department is doing more with less.

“We have cut the minimum number of officers we have on the street,” he said. “We are using a lot more of overtime and cutting down on some of our service calls.”

With a major drug interdiction started last week, focused around Bridge and Second Streets, along with investigating the missing and dead women, Chief Washburn said it could not be done without manpower from the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, The Attorney General’s Office of BCI and the FBI.

WANDA LEMONS pic“Chillicothe is not on an island, so to speak. Every place in Ohio is facing this heroin problem, it just seems to be hitting us harder with the missing women,” Washburn said.

The missing person’s taskforce continues to take more than 30 tips a day, meaning a lot of manpower is needed to investigate each one.

Boggs said the missing women are connected by the drug problem.

“I would say a lot of it is drug related and all of the women knew each other, but they still need to check into where Charlotte and Wanda could be,” she said.




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