This is an interesting question that I was asked recently, and to answer it I think one needs to look at the totality of the circumstances of the arrest. First, let's examine how one learns about an arrest like this. Most commonly its from either word of mouth or local newspapers. Word of mouth is of course the least reliable because, like the game of telephone, the story gets distorted along the way. Local news is more reliable, however sometimes they either get the circumstances wrong, or do not get the complete story. This causes some neighbors to become nervous that the drug problem in their area is worse that it really is, or that it's even a problem at all. So, what is the totality of circumstances in any given situation? To figure this out you need to ask a series of questions. For example, what was the suspect doing right before he was arrested? Was he driving through your neighborhood as a cut through? Was he coming from or going to a friends house that lives in your neighborhood? Where is that friends house? Was the arrest the result of a traffic stop at all? What actions did the police take to make the arrest?
Let's take as an example a recent case in the Town of Norwood, MA. The Norwood Police Department executed a search warrant at a local residence in South Norwood. As a result they recovered a large quantity of drugs and cash (a common indication of drug distribution). In order to have been issued that search warrant the police would have had to establish Probable Cause: clearly defined evidence that drugs were present or that the occupant was dealing drugs. No judge, at least in Norfolk County, would issue a search warrant without it. I do not know the particulars of the evidence the police had, but my impression it was a lot of good, solid police work.
There are two ways to look at a situation of a drug arrest in your neighborhood like the example given above: One, the police are proactively seeking out and arresting drug dealers, which is great; or two, drug dealing exists in my neighborhood which is not so good. It should be noted that there are two types of drug dealing: Discreet and Indiscreet. If I, as a neighbor, am learning that drugs exist in my community by news outlets, word of mouth or by the police themselves, you have a clear case of Discreet drug dealing...This is good. The dealers are going out of their way to hide it from both the neighbors and the police. What you should be concerned with is when drugs are being either used or sold indiscreetly, meaning out in the open. Whats worse, is when indiscreet drug dealing is going on and not being checked on by the police. Two things should happen at this point, either pack up your bags, or get on the phone with your elected officials and tell them this is not tolerated in your neighborhood. This is not the case in South Norwood. Police know this type of dealing is going on and are doing something about it! For an assessment of your neighborhood, or to guard your home with Proactive Protection call Suburban Security.
This Blog is written by Suburban's security experts, based upon their on-the-job experiences and professional training. Nothing in these posts should be considered binding between the reader and Suburban's security team nor should it be considered legal advice. Just fun tips to help "Protect Your Most Valuable asset".