Watervliet Police Chief credits anonymous community tips for major drug arrests

WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An alleged heroin dealer is off the streets of the Capital Region Thursday afternoon.

Without having to walk through the doors or pick up the phone, Watervliet police got all the information they needed from an anonymous post to this tip line on their website.

Chief Mark Spain with the Watervliet Police Department says 29-year-old Julio Anaya wasn’t even on their radar.

That is, until about three weeks ago when someone from the community spoke up without giving up their identity.

“We formulated that investigation based on that tip,” said Chief Spain.

The chief says the anonymous tip was the second solid lead in recent weeks, allowing them to take crack cocaine, heroin and the people selling those drugs off the city’s streets.

He says whoever sent in this tip should know that they didn’t just help the police department, they’ve also helped the families with loved ones facing addiction.

“[By] Pulling a dealer off the street, we can help 10-15 families just by doing that one small move, so it feels good,” Chief Spain said.

Sandra Bedian, a mother of three and a lifelong resident of the Capital Region, says she’s watched as the drug use has worsened over the years.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what neighborhood, you could have the best parents in the world, you could give your kids everything,” Bedian said.

She was happy to learn that someone reported the illegal activity to police and encourages others to do the same.

“You know, there’s many more and we just have to crack down to save our kids, you know?” Bedian added.

This issue isn’t specific to our area. It’s statewide and in many other parts of the country.

The chief says it’s nice to know that his department played some small role in tackling the epidemic, again stressing the fact that he couldn’t have done it without the help of the community.

“I think the whole thing about this is, we’re developing a partnership between the police department and the community, and as long as we stand together in this fight against heroin, this fight against drugs, it’s going to make us a better community, number one, and it’s going to help save lives,” Chief Spain explained.

For now, Anaya is being held in Albany County Jail.

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