Galesburg police making Amtrak drug arrests

Galesburg, Illinois, has long been known as a railroad hub. Now, Galesburg police are cracking down on drugs and the travelers who may bring them via train.

Everyday two cross-country Amtrak trains stop at the Galesburg station. Patrol Captain Rodney Riggs said travelers that are arrested for drugs often come from states that allow medical marijuana, like California and Colorado.

“We have things come through here I’ve never seen before,” said Riggs.

Police in Galesburg, though, are waiting.

“A lot of times someone sees a police officer and a K-9 and they’ll go the other way. It’s merely walking up to them, saying ‘Hey, how ya doing? Can we talk to you for a second?’” explained Riggs. “A lot of times we’ve had people give up their drugs just by us approaching them.”

Police suspect those drugs are often headed further out of town, to places like the Quad Cities, Peoria or Bloomington – Normal. Getting off in Galesburg may also be an attempt to avoid big-city cops, like those in Chicago.

“They figure we’re not watching. You’d think word had gotten around but it hasn’t, we still have people coming in,” said Riggs.

Riggs compared the drug searches to what you might expect at any airport. And by cracking down on drugs, police are cleaning up all sorts of crime from the area.

“I’m a firm believer that you take care of the drug problem, you take care of a lot of other things that go along with it,” said Riggs.