RICHMOND - Richmond police officers had little chance to rest at last month’s Washington County Fair, racking up a whopping 33 arrests in just four days.
The fair lasted from August 17 - 21 and all of the arrests were made on the first four days, making it the busiest week for the department this year, according to Police Chief Elwood Johnson.
“This is by far the busiest week we’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said. Johnson became the chief of Richmond Police in 2010.
The majority of the arrests were for offenses that involved alcohol or drugs. The most common charges were public drinking, possession of marijuana and possession of alcohol by minor. Johnson acknowledged that alcohol, marijuana and juveniles were the cause of most of the police activity at the fair.
“The Washington County Fair Committee determines the rules, they are consistent with our ordinances, and it is our job to enforce them,” he said. “When you look at the public drinking, is it an egregious act? No, but it’s a violation.”
“There was an estimated 40,000 people there Saturday,” Johnson continued. “It was a hot summer day, you have a lot of young people, when someone uses impaired judgment, they can make poor choices which leads to unruly behavior. People behave differently when they’re impaired, they can be loud, boisterous and obnoxious.”
Johnson said that Richmond Police had four or five officers patrolling the parking lot, up to five stationary posts inside the fair, and an additional three or four officers on Route 112 near the entrance and the off-site parking area. He was proud of the force for their increased efforts during the fair.
“The officers stepped up, I can’t say enough about the good work these guy did. The town of Richmond should be very proud of the people they have protecting them,” he said.
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