Greetings and Happy New Year to the citizens of Montgomery County.
As we welcome the start of a new year and the closing out of a decade, I thought it would be a good time to update you on some of the local happenings relating to my office as your Montgomery County State's Attorney.
It has been a busy but productive 2019 for the state's attorney's office, having filed a record number of felonies this year–this year being 331 as of Dec. 26. Although this may seem like a lot, I am encouraged that this number reflects less than two percent of our overall population and many of these crimes are committed by people simply passing through our county, whether they are traveling along the interstate or temporary residents. My office has already secured convictions in over 100 of these cases and will be working diligently to do the same in the rest.
To break down these numbers further, drug crimes still make up the largest amount of the felonies committed in Montgomery County, totaling 180. To help combat the large amount of drug felonies in the county we have begun using new strategies in 2019 such as using and combining resources with the federal government to prosecute these cases. A representative from the Gateway drug rehabilitation center now comes to our county jail to do intakes and assessments of inmates who might qualify for drug treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Also, there has been an increase in participants and graduates of our Montgomery County Drug Court program.
Property crimes are our second highest number of felonies, totaling 59. Often these property crimes are a direct result of illegal drug abuse. Nevertheless, I would like to remind you that although we live in safe communities, please remember to lock your doors and vehicles, as these small steps can save a lot of headaches in the future.
Crimes of violence, including domestic abuse and firearm offenses total 56 for the year, and our office has already secured convictions and prison sentences for violent crimes such as bank robbery, predatory criminal sexual abuse of a child, and residential arson to name a few.
The state's attorney's office has been busy on the civil side of the law as well, as we have assisted in collecting over $400,000 in civil judgments for the county. Also, we are projected to collect over $400,000 in fines and fees from our criminal prosecutions. That is a grand total of $800,000 for the county's coffers.
All in all, it has been a very busy but productive year for the state's attorney's office. Please remember to be safe out there, report crimes, and most of all, have a Happy New Year.