Police make progress on fight against drugs

Illegal drugs are a problem, here, just as they seemingly are everywhere in the world now. That much is made clear by the fact that a child took a syringe to elementary school last week.

I don’t think it is a rampant problem, and I don’t think it is necessarily worse than in other parts of the state or country, but it is definitely a problem when a child can get his or her hands on a syringe that has been used with methamphetamines. Fortunately, we have local law enforcement who are working hard to combat the problem. In a week and a half, police and sheriff’s deputies executed four search warrants that resulted in 10 arrests and the seizure of what Sheriff Rob Craft said were pounds of drugs.

Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis told me he has made fighting illegal drug use one of his top priorities. I applaud that, because drug use doesn’t only hurt the users. It hurts the children, like the child who took the syringe to school or the six other children taken into protective custody in two of the cases. It also hurts our community by introducing criminal elements associated with the drug trade. Drug use doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it comes with dealers, growers, and manufacturers. These are often outsiders with no concern for the well-being of others, certainly not when it clashes with their bottom line.

The arrests in the past two weeks send a clear message that law enforcement won’t sit idly by or look the other way, and they won’t wait for a case to fall into their laps. Three of the four cases came together based on persistent police work, working on leads and suspicions until enough evidence is ready for a search warrant to be issued.

Our law enforcement officials deserve our appreciation for being proactive in fighting the influence of illegal drugs in our communities.

— ADAM STEWART

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