Heroin use is a disturbing new trend on the rise in the city of Berea, according to Berea Police Chief David Gregory.
Gregory outlined some of the strategies the police department is using to combat this growing problem at Tuesday's city council meeting.
“It’s a very dangerous drug, so I want to make you all aware as a community,” Gregory said.
County Coroner and EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison alerted the Madison County Fiscal Court of the heroin-use problem during its February 12 meeting.
The local EMS has treated more heroin overdoses in the past three or four months than ever before, assistant EMS director Carlos Coyle said after the meeting.
“There for a while, we never saw heroin in our county, but it’s here now,” he said.
One strategy the BPD is using to combat heroin is the use of a “street crimes unit” focused on thefts and drugs, Gregory said. By putting foot patrols in areas with high crime rates for thefts and targeting known drug dealers in the community, he hopes to eliminate the problem, he said.
“The heroin is traveling down Interstate 75 from Detroit and making its presence in our community,” he said. The drug can be very cheap and very addicting, he added.
“The officers are working very diligently to try to stop this; they’re concerned with their community, they care about it,” Gregory said. “We’re actually trying to take the drug dealer’s money and seize their property and do the best that we can to stop this from coming into our community.”
On a related note, the city adopted first reading of an ordinance allowing the police department to participate in an area drug task force.
The city was part of a drug task force in 2008, but it was disbanded last year because of lack of funding and participation. But, it’s back again with a grant through the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Gregory said.
The city of Berea will join Winchester, Clark County, Jackson County, Madison County and Irvine in the task force. Richmond is involved in another drug task force out of Lexington, he said.
“It’s a good thing. (It) provides a lot of asset forfeitures, hopefully to our police department,” he said. “I know when we were on it, federally we got about $40,000 in our drug account.”
Last week the police department did a search of Madison Southern High School using their newest recruit, the K-9 unit Panko, Gregory said.
“I think there was some illegal narcotics that were found. The school handled it along with the SRO (school resource officer),” he said.
The new K-9 unit has done very well since he joined the force, Gregory said. He has participated in a lot of drug seizures. In 2012, police conducted almost 2,000 more traffic stops than in 2011 using Panko.
“He’s been very proactive in stopping drugs,” he said.
The chief also urged those interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program to call 986-8456 or check out the city's website www.bereaky.gov to learn how (click on "For Residents" and "Police Department").
“So as a citizen then, I probably should be more active in terms of observing my neighborhood and reporting suspicious behavior that I see,” said council member Virgil Burnside.
K-9 added to police force
- Local News
Berea utility doubles solar farm, again
Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.
My fair ladies
10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday
Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.
RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment
Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.
YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Memories bloom in May’s garden
After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.
Water Street storm-water digging begins
Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.
RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home
Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.
Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea
Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.
A race to the finish line
Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.
- More Local News Headlines
- Berea utility doubles solar farm, again