Elba Crime Down

Elba police chief Ronnie Whitworth says he may be down several officers, but his department has had more than a 50-percent increase in arrests.

Chief Whitworth recently received his department's 2003 statistics from the state. Arrests are up and violent crime is down. The chief is most proud of drug arrests. That’s because it's up more than 125-percent from the previous year.

But, the chief is frustrated at not being able to keep a full staff of officers. Many leave for larger salaries offered by larger departments. In addition, many officers are frustrated with the early release of state prisoners.

Chief Whitworth says the recent onslaught of meth in the area has increased the number of drug related arrests.