“The whole nation is dealing with it,” Captain John Klug said.
Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die from an opioid-induced overdose.
“Communities all face the same problem,” he said, “it’s opioid addiction and what impact that has.”
The sale and use of all drugs has always been a top priority at the department.
But when prescription pills, heroin and fentanyl are killing people in the community, the game is changed.
“We do have contact with a lot more of a variety of drugs. It’s a much bigger problem, it’s much more prevalent in our community,” Klug added.
At one time, drug arrests happened once a week. Now, a drug related arrest has someone sitting back here at least once a day.
Klug said, “You worked your butt off to find that one drug arrest every week or two weeks. Now, you could push yourself to doing that every day, and you probably have to hold yourself back from not finding it every day.”
Recently, officers have actually recovered more meth than they have heroin.
Although other drugs are still present, officers have been responding to more opioid-related overdoses, using Narcan 9 times in the past 11 months.
Klug said law enforcement’s role in all of this goes beyond their time on the clock, “We need to be educators, and we just need to be involved in the process,” he said.
“We need to be there as a community member to play our role and make sure that we can have some input and understand what we’re dealing with from everybody else’s perspective.”
Klug stressed the importance of educating the community about drugs and about things like Good Samaritan Law, which means there would be no charges for a person cooperatively calling in an overdose.
He said understanding the amnesty law is another big factor when it comes to saving lives and battling the addiction crisis.