Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Darke County Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker to Speak at Public Employee Retirees Luncheon

Mark Whittaker, Chief Deputy with the Darke County Sheriff's Department, will take the floor on Monday, April 3, at the VFW on Ohio St. when he speaks at the Public Employee Retirees, (PERI) luncheon. Not only will he provide information about drugs, scams, and the crimes they produce, but he will also tell how to prevent these crimes and how to handle a situation should a person become a victim of them. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. and is open to non members, who are OPERS retirees, by calling Vivian Nieport, Attendance and Contact Chairman, at 937-548-3961 no later than Wednesday, March 29. PERI members will be contacted by the calling committee.

Darke County is one of the leading agricultural counties in the State of Ohio. Mostly rural, with Greenville as its largest city and county seat, it is difficult to imagine that within its borders drug addiction has opened the door to house invasions, robberies, and attacks on innocent citizens out for dinner or shopping for groceries. Yet, according to Whittaker, "Drug abuse in the county is not only significant but is overwhelming." He added, "A large portion of the crimes in Darke County are committed by drug addicts, who are desperately seeking money to feed their habits. Compounding the problem he said, "Many of the dealers who sell the drugs are in most cases addicts themselves."

As if this is not enough, he said, Darke County residents are being barraged by telephone scams that can range from requests to donate to a national Sheriff's organization, which he particularly finds offensive, to some other questionable organization. They can also promise big winnings, luxury trips and other schemes that can add up to major losses for the donors and millions of dollars in illegal gains for the scammers as they continue to come up with even more schemes to steal money as well as personal information. He will describe some of these schemes.

Whittaker has been a resident of Darke County for over 30 years including his 21 years with the Sheriff's Office where he has served on road patrol, and as a detective and detective supervisor before his present position as Chief Deputy. He is also currently serving on the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, which has formed to increase awareness of heroin addiction and what's been happening in the county as the number of users and addicts continue to rise.

Looking forward to speaking at PERI, he said he will be available to answer any and all questions and welcomes attendees to join him for an opportunity to interact with local law enforcement and to find out exactly what is happening locally.

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