Narcotic related arrests intensify in Vidor

Published 8:16 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

By Larry Holt

The Orange Leader

A goal of improving the quality of life for citizens in Vidor has been a priority of Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll since joining the department.

Carroll believes community oriented policing is, “a public safety issue” and in his view most crime is related to illegal narcotics.

“I want to rid Vidor of illegal narcotics,” Carroll said. “And we are doing our best to do that. Because of increased officer training and knowing my expectations of them, our narcotic related arrests increased 225 percent in January 2018 compared to January 2017.”

“It’s not necessarily because there is more crime in Vidor,” Carroll said, “but because, in part, my officers are engaging differently.”

Carroll was brought on board as Vidor Chief of Police approximately 18 months ago, after having served with the Jefferson County Sheriff Office for nearly 24 years, with a stated and public goal of “safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens and reduce the incidence and fear of criminal activity, and to enhance public safety and trust while working in the community to improve the quality of life.”

“As police officers we are working hard to engage citizens via social media, interacting with citizens in a positive way, and be more efficient and effective in performance of our duties,” Carroll said.

Chief Carroll introduced “Rocky”, Vidor Police Department’s two and a half year old Belgian Malinois drug dog, and his police officer handler to the Mayor and City Council during the Thursday evening city council meeting.

The acquisition of “Rocky the Pirate” to help fight crime is yet another visible example of Carroll’s vision of transforming the police department for the benefit of citizens and visitors alike.

In addition to “Rocky”, Carroll expects approvals by the city council for the police department to pursue grants for license plate scanners, integrating improved body worn cameras with in-car video systems, as well as purchasing interoperable mobile radios for effective and efficient communication with other police agencies, are also steps in the right crime-fighting direction.

“It was difficult to communicate with outside agencies that came into the community to assist us after Hurricane Harvey,” Carroll said. “Vidor didn’t have the type of radio that allowed us to be on the same frequency. The new technology gives us the ability to communicate with each other and therefore be more effective and efficient.”

License plate scanners provide officers with information about possible crime related activity associated with the vehicle as the officer patrols the city. Improved body-worn cameras in sync with in-car video systems provide better clarity and increased efficiencies for law enforcement when downloading, storing, and retrieving video data.