BLADE Hosts Community Listening Event To Talk Next Steps For Program
In August of this year, a new program launched in the Brainerd Lakes Area that is aiming to combat the drug problem in Crow Wing County in a new and unique way. Tonight, officials with BLADE, Brainerd Lakes Area Drug Education, hosted a community event to kick off the next steps for the program.
In recent years, in Crow Wing County, drug-related cases tried by the county attorney’s office has more than doubled. This is just one example of the effects that the county’s growing drug problem has had.
“It’s been a focus, for a law enforcement aspect, for forever. The idea of how we can deal with drugs. We see it as not only something that is an arrestable offense, but something that ends up in that violent rotation and people have a hard time getting out of it,” said Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard.
This spurred local officials and members of the community to come together to try and tackle this problem in a new way. BLADE, Brainerd Lakes Area Drug Education, is a collaboration between law enforcement, Crow Wing County Community Services, Crow Wing County schools, and the community as a whole.
“We want to, and have included our recovery population and recovery people throughout our community back in our discussions. They are really the experts on how, what they’ve faced, and how they’ve worked to accomplish their goals to be able to get out of that type of lifestyle,” added Sheriff Goddard.
On Monday, BLADE held a community listening event to talk about the next steps.
“Our focus now is to get that support, to get the people to make a commitment in helping us move forward, and then start to really dial in these initiatives and push our focus forward,” Sheriff Goddard said.
Though BLADE is still in its beginning stages, organizers are excited for the future possibilities and impact that the program could have.