Wisconsin is seeing a dangerous increase in heroin use this year and Sauk County Sheriff, Chip Meister, says, “We have more heroin deaths in this county than we do traffic fatalities.”
So far this year, Sauk County has had three traffic fatalities while there have been five heroin related deaths. Meister says, “That’s a very scary statistic.”
Meister had a chance to present the problem to the Sauk County Board’s Law Enforcement Committee as well as other department staff on Tuesday, in a budget prioritization meeting.
According to Meister, the growing heroin problem has forced the department to engage an “active fight” against the drug. This will call for the department to increase drug enforcement training among the staff next year. An increase in the number of search warrants served has already begun, and some officers report noticing a change in the type of burglaries that occur.
Rather than stealing large ticket items such as televisions or home stereo systems, officers report seeing more ‘grab and go’ type cases. “Now, they’re coming in and stealing jewelry, money, and prescriptions, and the stuff they can just grab and go get the cash for,” said Meister.
The problem isn’t just confined to Sauk County. Statistics show that between 2008 and 2011 the number of heroin cases have doubled statewide, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
According to the Department of Justice, so far there have been 221 heroin cases, and we are only half way through the year. In 2008 the weight amount of heroin seized by the agency was 1,462 grams. That number was up to 2,542 grams in 2011.
Last year, the department received 15,556 calls for service and is expecting this year’s number to be closer to 17,000 calls.
With heroin use increasing in the state, it is clear something needs to be done. In this “active fight” against heroin, the department just may have their hands full.
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, please contact us.
Original article madison.com
Photo courtesy of: flickr
- Item Tag: heroin