Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

July 8, 2011

Heroin: Police need citizens' tips

Third in a three-part series

-- — Combating the rise in heroin use here “is not an easy problem with an easy answer,” noted Mayor Rick Fledderman at the June 28 Batesville forum on the topic.

The goal is to incarcerate drug dealers and get help for addicts. The mayor stressed, “We want to be understanding. This is in no way a witch hunt.” Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section Detective Tami Watson, Indianapolis, said, “As law enforcement, we are not here to investigate your children ... we want to know who\'s selling it.”

She added, however, “Sometimes, if your child ends up in jail for the night, that\'s the best thing that could happen ... they have to hit rock bottom” before deciding to change behavior. Watson said it might be wise to refuse to bail a child out immediately.

“I challenge you: What can you do to help us out?” asked Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts, who formed the Community Issues Committee that planned the meeting.

When investigating crimes, “law enforcement can\'t do it all,” Watson pointed out. “We took an oath to be your servant ... we work for you. Give us something to do.” She gave an example: “If you notice your neighbor\'s house has a lot of cars in and out at 2 or 3 in the morning,\" call police. If possible, “get a couple (license) plate numbers and vehicle descriptions. You can\'t be afraid to make that phone call.”

To try to pinpoint where drugs are being sold, “get with other moms and dads and ask, ‘Where are your kids hanging out?’”

If a drug dealing location is suspected or discovered, discretion must be used. “If the dealer knows you know, it\'s dangerous,” Watson cautioned. “Don\'t tell your neighbor. You call the police department.”

People shouldn’t expect users to divulge who the sellers are. The detective said, “Heroin is life or death. A heroin dealer is going to threaten your child with harm to themselves, their families, their friends\" if they tell. Not only that, if a dealer is arrested, “it cuts off their supply.”

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