Mason Times staff writer
MASON—Prevention and education. Those are the methods Mason leaders are using to address prescription drug abuse.
Police Chief John Stressman said the police department’s job is more about prevention than enforcement.
“We’re trying to get ahead of the game,” Stressman said. “We’re proactive and aggressive about preventing problems before they get started.”
According to the police department’s annual report, drug offenses accounted for 16 of 221, just over 7 percent, of total arrests in 2012.
Mason’s police department is one of the first to participate in Ingham County’s year-round pharmaceutical take-back program, said Sandy Stacy, the department’s evidence manager. She said the program helps collect unused and expired prescriptions, which keeps them out of medicine cabinets and off the streets. Mason residents can deposit their unused prescription drugs in a marked container inside city hall.
Stressman said there was some proliferation of possession and use of those drugs by school-age youth, which led to the foundation of the Capital Area Prescription Drug Task Force in 2011.
Stressman said the task force involves the police department, the Mason Public Schools, the 55th District Court, Families Against Narcotics and several others.
The police department’s annual report said the task force recently became involved with Families Against Narcotics, a group in southeast Michigan that helps addicts and their families. Continue reading