In the early morning hours last Friday, I had the honor of spending time with many people with guns and cuffs. I was on their side and was happy to be there. The round up was just beginning.
As law enforcement walked into the ready room, their respective leaders greeted them with a smile. Thirteen sealed packets of information containing names and addresses of suspected drug dealers represented the result of what the authorities have been working on for months. According to the sheriff, this was the first roundup in many years, and I would suspect it won’t be the last.
All law enforcement personnel were anxiously awaiting their orders and were prepared to team up with others for a successful round up. Every officer was joking and relaxed while preparing for what could always be a tense situation. Even through the jocularity, you could still sense the apprehension. Rightfully so, as when you are dealing with alleged meth users, anything can happen.
As the packets of information were given out, the officers studied their mark. Some were habitual offenders and others perhaps first-timers. In any event, every officer immediately went into “work mode.”
Just before the officers were ready to leave, clad in their armor with weapons locked and loaded, there was a call for prayer.
The prayer was not so traditional. I assumed the person giving the invocation would pray for the safety of the officers and that everyone made it home safety to their families, which they did.
But the prayer went on to pray for those affected by the drugs they were using. They prayed for their families. They prayed for the addicts to get the help they need to break away from the wicked drug that has them hooked. I was thoroughly impressed.
The first call I made with the deputies was at an apartment that was near a school. The building was broken down and reeked of despair. It was then I understood why the police prayed for these people. I recited that prayer while having my head on a swivel making sure that no one was poking through a window wanting to off me or someone else.
While I was outside waiting for the officers to bring the suspect out, several cars stopped and thanked us for being there. “We are sure glad to see you today,” said one couple. Apparently, that particular area was rampant with the drug.
Fortunately, that suspect was apprehended without incident. A family member cried as the suspect was being taken away and the suspect almost looked relieved.
For the most part, the roundup was a success. I hear there will be more, as law enforcement is determined to rid our community of this horrible affliction. And we all should be grateful for our law enforcement officers. They showed compassion while firmly doing their often thankless job.
I’m not sure there is any clear-cut answer, but you have to start somewhere and the round up is a good start. Education, jobs and hope can help deter people from starting to use drugs. Pill mills and over-prescribing doctors are for another column.
Addicts need help. But they have to be willing to help themselves.
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