Check in with Police Chief Dan Birbeck

Check in with Police Chief Dan Birbeck

Olney police have been occupied for the past two weeks apprehending ten fugitives and putting away their third child sex offender in the past twelve months, Police Chief Dan Birbeck said in his Friday briefing.

Olney police made 10 warrant arrests in 10 days, several of whom will return to prison on “blue warrants” for violating parole, Chief Birbeck said. The warrants were for forging financial documents, failing to maintain financial responsibility, consumption of alcohol by a minor, felony intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle,possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to appear in court, and possession of marijuana and forgery to defraud and harm others.

During that same 10day period, OPD made 162 traffic stops, 12 arrests, three criminal trespass warnings, one driving under the influence arrest, and one domestic violence call, he said.

Animal Control Officer Hollie Hawkins wanted to remind residents to be careful of skunks, he said. “It’s breeding season. They are out in full force and they are only thinking about one thing,” he said. “We will do our best to try to help trap them. It’s not always a possibility.”

Officer Hawkins has to be available to check the traps every couple of hours, he said. “Don’t try to trap skunks in a regular trap because you could get sprayed. It might become your problem to take them out into the country and let them go.”

The Keep Olney Beautiful Committee has nearly reached its fundraising goal for the new municipal swimming pool, Chief Birbeck said. KOB is selling tickets to a Daddy-Daughter Dance on Feb. 24 from 6-9 p.m. at the Olney Civic Center to come up with the rest of the cash, he said. Tickets can be purchased at the Stewart’s Food Store, the Olney Police Station and from KOB members. They cost $25 for adults, $10 for the first child., and $5 for each additional child.

“That project is fixing to start moving forward … and hopefully by this summer we will end up with a new pool,” he said. “You don’t have to dance or show up. You can donate and buy a ticket to help us get the swimming pool funds pulled together. Show support with your pocketbook.”

OPD Det. Dustin Hudson testified at the department’s second major jury trial of the past year, helping to convict Seth Cody Wakefield of child sex crimes. The jury handed down a sentence of two life terms, he said. OPD previously secured a 70-year sentence against Andrew Garibay for child sex crimes, he said. Justin Snow pleaded guilty to a charge of continuous abuse of a child in exchange for a 45-year prison sentence minutes before his jury trial was set to begin in Graham in January 2023.

Since January 2020, OPD has won 14 convictions and has two cases still pending, he said. “If it comes to the Olney Police Department’s ear that we have a victim out there - whether an adult or child - I want the public to know the OPD and the District Attorney’s office take these cases very seriously,” he said.