Let’s clear the air on law enforcements views of substance abuse.

 

You often see arrests made within our county due to drug use in our communities.  As your Sheriff, I understand that we cannot "arrest" our way out of this problem. So, let me be clear when I say that we do not view an arrest as the answer to an epidemic that is sweeping our nation. 

 

The sole purpose of a drug arrest is not to punish or humiliate the addict or their families, yet the responsibility to uphold and enforce the laws, which keep our communities safe. 

 

The consequences of violating the law are clear and concise and we hope these arrests are informative to the community, as well as a deterrent for others during decision making processes, which could lead them to abusing, possessing, or selling drugs in our area. 

 

Controversially, people have voiced that the offense of drug possession is a victimless crime.  Let me assure you that the hearts of those protecting and serving our great county cry out when this comment is so loosely thrown around.  The user is battling the addiction, but others left in the wake of its destruction are also engulfed in the wretched cycle of substance abuse, at no choice of their own. 

 

The children.  The family.  The community.  No one is immune to its wrath; It has no boundaries. 

 

The poor condition of homes, increased crime rates in drug prone areas, and neglected children in drug-related environments is a short list of what law enforcement sees every single day when responding to those "victimless crimes."

 

As we continue to make these arrests, to ensure the safety of our communities, we can only hope that they will be used as a stepping stone towards the individual finding relief in sobriety and the acceptance of help through rehabilitation.  However, we cannot force them to participate in programs that are encouraged, even if ordered by the courts - this often lands them back behind bars.

 

With all of this said, I will never feel sorrow for dealers who prey on the weakness of those addicted to drugs, nor will I ever succumb to the beliefs that we are fighting a losing war on drugs. 

 

With just one child saved, we have already won.

 

Sheriff Kevin Crews