HUTCHINSON COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —”It’s an epidemic and I just think it’s time that we take a good stand against it,” said Hutchinson County Sheriff Blaik Kemp.
That epidemic that Sheriff Kemp is referring to is what he says is a rise of methamphetamine overdoses and deaths in the county.
“The problem is very, very, very prevalent here. The most alarming thing is, is when the fentanyl gets involved with it because of how dangerous it is. I mean it kills officers as well. We carry Narcan just in case we get an accidental exposure,” said Sheriff Kemp.
This had lead to Sheriff Kemp announcing this week, a new no-tolerance policy when it comes to those in possession of narcotics.
“If you’re caught with any trace amount of narcotics in a baggie, you’re going to go to jail for possession of the narcotics. If you’re caught with a methamphetamine pipe, heroin needle, anything related to hard drugs, it does not include a marijuana pipe but the harder drugs and stuff like that. You’re going to go to jail for it,” said Sheriff Kemp.
Sheriff Kemp says meth usage has also lead to other crimes.
“We’ve had a lot of copper thefts. We’ve had a lot of home burglaries, vehicle burglaries, violent crime, stuff like that. Generally they stem from the methamphetamine use,” said Sheriff Kemp.
Sheriff Kemp says making more resources available for those seeking help would help as well but for now, he says they need to take a strong approach to bring this problem to a halt and make the community safer.
“They’re tired of seeing syringes on the ground. They’re tired of dealing with it. So we’re going to take the most proactive approach that we can and I know in my power to do at this time and I’m hopeful that we’ll see a decline in the offenses,” said Sheriff Kemp.
Sheriff Kemp also adds that they’re going to look into drug-related overdoses more intensely as well.
He says they’ll try to obtain the person’s cell phone and talk to whoever they can, to bring the person that dealt the drugs, to justice.
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