While I’ve been writing about the upward trend regarding the possession and distribution of illegal substances in the area, Central Texas law enforcement agencies, including the Copperas Cove Police Department and the Bell County Organized Crime Unit, have been busy doing something about it.

So far, the efforts of these law enforcement professionals have resulted in the arrests of 15 individuals for delivery of controlled substances, with sealed indictments for additional arrests of seven suspects still remaining to be served. Yes! Most, if not all of the controlled substances at issue, are methamphetamine, the bane of Central Texas.

Building up to this decidedly impressive result was a six-month investigation by Cove police and the Bell County Organized Crime Unit, in coordination with the Coryell County district attorney, during which each case was thoroughly investigated and court-ready by the time arrests were made.

This method of investigation and indictment allows police investigators to gather an increased volume of evidence during the process, allowing the cases to move forward faster.

At the beginning of last week, four of the 15 individuals arrested were sentenced by the court as a result of plea agreements. That is remarkable speed indeed.

Moreover, these arrests and adjudications will remove many illegal substance dealers from the streets of Copperas Cove and hopefully will reverse the trend in this type of crime from an upward to a downward trajectory. With these junk dealers out of the picture, their former customers will be forced to seek suppliers elsewhere, or heaven forbid, reform themselves. We can hope that these purveyors of misery will be reformed and will choose a different, more useful occupation upon release.

Other crimes reported this week included numerous thefts. Continuing an upward trend, another cellphone was stolen from a business in town. In a society where lives revolve around a cellphone, we are destined to see more thefts of this nature, pathetic as it is.

A vehicle theft and the theft of a boat were also reported in separate incidents. These items will certainly be removed from this to another area for use of disposition. It is unlikely that a stolen vehicle will be used in the jurisdiction from which it was stolen. Frequently, stolen vehicles are stripped and sold for parts. Recovery is rare.

A theft of currency, combined with a forgery of a government document, also was reported. This crime could involve the forgery of any government document from a state subsistence application to a Social Security card application and all forms in between.

The forgery of a financial instrument also was reported this week. The financial instrument in this case was a check. Safeguard yours.

An air conditioner coil, presumably copper, was stolen from a residential area in Cove. These types of thefts are becoming increasingly frequent, particularly from homes and businesses under construction.

Lastly, yet another incident of identity theft was reported this week. This national epidemic has become a constant in Copperas Cove. If you do not safeguard your personal information, you will surely become a victim at some point.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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