‘Ice’ busts increase damatically this year 12-17-03

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
EAST HAWAII CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION
CAPTAIN SAMUEL THOMAS
PHONE: 961-2251
DECEMBER 16, 2003

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawaii County Police Department’s anonymous drug tip hotlines are paying off, according to police statistics.

Since the first of the year, Big Island police have confiscated 16.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” and have made 344 drug arrests.

Islandwide, police also initiated 548 separate cases against drug suspects during the period running from January 1 through November 30, 2003.

By contrast, during the same period last year, police islandwide confiscated 2.6 pounds of crystal meth, made 135 drug arrests and initiated 276 separate drug cases.

Many of the drug raids and arrests this year were made as the result of tips phoned in to the East and West Hawaii anonymous drug and vice tip hotlines, which were set up in May, according to Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division.

“We’ve found that the police department’s anonymous hotlines are proving to be a major source of information about suspected drug activity,” Thomas said.

“I want to commend the public-spirited citizens who have made use of the hotlines to provide information, whether they leave their names or remain anonymous,” he said.

“The information we have received has led to the shutting down of numerous drug distribution houses and resulted in numerous arrests.”

The drug and vice tip hotline for East Hawaii is 934-“VICE” (934-8423). For West Hawaii, persons reporting suspected drug activities should call 326-“ZERO-ICE” (326-0423). The numbers are open 24 hours a day.

Thomas said callers do not have to provide their names, addresses or telephone numbers. To ensure anonymity, callers will be given a case tracking number they should use when calling with additional information or when they want to speak to a detective regarding any information they previously provided.

All information received is kept confidential and within the Criminal Investigation Division, Thomas said.

“No matter how ‘small’ a bit of information might seem to a caller, it may provide detectives with the ‘missing link’ they need to take action,” Thomas said.

If a caller wants to leave his name and telephone number with the hotline, a vice officer will call him back as soon as possible, he said.

The police department website, “www.hawaiipolice.com”, offers more advice on how best to use the drug tip hotlines and what kinds of information to provide. The information can be found under the “Police Hotlines” section of the website.

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