SCHERERVILLE | The Schererville Police Department's emphasis on narcotics use in town is producing results, Police Chief David Dowling said.
Dowling started a special operations task force in March to focus on drug activity.
Since then, the task force has filed drug-related charges against 73 individuals, Dowling said at Wednesday's Town Council meeting.
He said some of those people face multiple charges, so a total of about 100 drug-related charges were filed by the Police Department since March.
Dowling said he started the task force because of the number of drug overdose cases that had been reported in the town.
Schererville had about two to three overdoses each month when the task force began its work last year, he said.
Recent overdose reports have dropped to about one every two months, Dowling said.
"It's been very effective," he said of the work completed by the task force.
Dowling said the total amount of cases received for all crimes in town was about the same in 2012 as it was in 2011, but Schererville's detective bureau has done a better job of closing cases.
Schererville detectives filed charges in 294 cases in 2012. Charges were filed in 126 cases in 2011, he said.
Dowling credits new leadership in the detective bureau for the increase in productivity.
Mike Vode, commander of the detective bureau, has done a solid job of getting detectives on the street to investigate cases, he said.
In other business, council members on Wednesday approved several annual contracts, including one with St. John Township.
That contract provides fire service to unincorporated areas of the township, officials said.
The council also approved the town's annual $2,000 donation to the Tri-Town Safety Village.