STURGIS, Ky. (WEHT) – Meth has been a problem throughout much of the Tri-State for many years.
A western Kentucky community is teaming up to tackle the problem in their county.
“There’s no community, I bet, that is immune to meth,” says Dennis O’Nan of Sturgis.
Law enforcement officials in Sturgis and Union County know their community isn’t immune to it either.
“Methamphetamine has been a problem in the state, nation, and Union County in particular for some time now,” says Chief Chance Whitfield of the Sturgis Police Dept.
“I think the citizens have been worried about it for a long time,” “adds Sturgis Mayor Doug Rodgers.
Sturgis Police, Union County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police have focused on the county’s meth problem since last month. Chief Whitfield says 18 meth and drug related arrests were done since the start of last month in town, and 78 arrests done across Union County. Those arrested face charges ranging from drug paraphernalia possession to trafficking meth.
“We had an arrest a few weeks ago at an apartment complex here in Sturgis, where we arrested five people there, all at one time for trafficking methamphetamine,” Chief Whitfield says.
“If they hear and learn and examples are set that if you’re in Sturgis and you’re doing bad, you’re going to get some free housing in the jail,” adds O’Nan.
While the arrests and drug busts are one way to crack down on this region’s meth problem, another one is just a phone call away. Mayor Rodgers says residents with meth addiction problems can call to get referred to places to get treatment for an addiction.
“They can reach out to city hall, or to law enforcement or any of the agencies, or myself, confidentially, and then at that point, we would refer them to some kind of assistance program,” he explained.
“It’s taken us to create this plan and build this team to start attacking this problem and try to better Sturgis,” says Chief Whitfield.
(This story was originally published on April 14, 2021)