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
Haley Collins, Emmerson Coffey and Ashley Wilson dance with their friends to a song called "Christmas With My Friends" during a Monday performance of the Silver Creek Elementary holiday program "I Need a Little Christmas Vacation."
Silver Creek Elementary presents: ‘I Need a Little Christmas Vacation’
Originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, Silver Creek Elementary’s Christmas program “I Need a Little Christmas Vacation” has been moved to 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the school. The show is free and the community is invited to attend, said Principal Martha Scarberry.
Battlefield Golf Course to lease new equipment
The Madison Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning approved a lease of maintenance equipment at the Battlefield Golf Club.
The old equipment lease expires in 2014, club director Clay Hamrick said. The new lease, with Jacobsen Turf and the Wolf Creek Company, would help the county avoid paying a price increase instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency on purchases of engines ranging from 25 to 75 horsepower, which encompasses the majority of the club’s maintenance fleet, Hamrick said.
Chemical weapons destruction plant 75 percent complete
The plant designed to destroy the Blue Grass Army Depot’s chemical weapons stockpile has reached 75 percent completion.
Construction began in 2006 and has been conducted by contractor Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, according to a news release from the Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office.
Area Kentucky State Police troopers promoted
The Kentucky State Police recognized the promotion of 48 officers throughout the state in a ceremony today at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.
Al, Alice & Ruth holiday concert Friday
The Al, Alice & Ruth Holiday Musical Special is scheduled 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Berea Arena Theater. The show will feature special guest Richard Bellando. Featuring the sounds of banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass, the show will include both traditional tunes such as “Jingle Bells” and “What Child is This” and new Al, Alice & Ruth originals, “Caroling in the Snow” and “Starlit Lullaby.” Admission is $5.
- Silver Creek Elementary presents: ‘I Need a Little Christmas Vacation’
H.S. BASKETBALL: Central tops Clark County in double OT, 71-67
The Madison Central Indians like to keep things interesting.
Three days after defeating John Hardin in triple overtime, the Indians pulled out another extra period victory Tuesday, downing Clark County 71-67 in double overtime.
H.S. BASKETBALL: Patriots hammer Burgin
More than a week into the season, the Patriots still hadn’t had a chance to get onto the court.
H.S. BASKETBALL: Botts gets 1,000th point in Model loss, Berea, Southern fall
Model Laboratory senior Darrian Botts scored her 1,000th point Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Patriots fell to Burgin 72-59 on the road.
- H.S. BASKETBALL: Central tops Clark County in double OT, 71-67
- Lifestyles & Community
Richmond’s Christmas parade is Friday night
Do you have most of your Christmas shopping done? If not, take a deep breath of air, make a hot cup of tea to clear your mind and schedule an upcoming day to finish your task.
- Better safe than sorry with bad weather is forecast
- Ice forecast brings back memories of big storms
- Richmond’s Christmas parade is Friday night
Our Fragile Planet
Let's examine a few statements reflecting a vision thought to be beyond question. "The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile." "The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis." Here are a couple of Earth Day quotes: "Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day." "Remember the importance of taking care of our planet. It's the only home we have!" Such statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmental extremists and non-extremists alike. Worse yet is the fact that this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to our youth from kindergarten through college. Let's examine just how fragile the earth is.
- The Case of the Unhappy Robber
- Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
- Our Fragile Planet