Community Roundtable Held To Address Drug Problem In Crow Wing County
Members of local law enforcement, county officials, and other community members gathered at Brainerd High School Tuesday night to brainstorm new ways to tackle a growing problem facing Crow Wing County.
“We’ve got to figure out a different way of doing this. This is a common theme you’re going to hear tonight,” Andy Galles, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant said to a crowd Tuesday at Brainerd High School. “What we are doing isn’t working.”
In Crow Wing County, 80% of those in prison and jail are incarcerated on charges related to drugs and/or alcohol, and methamphetamine use has been drastically on the rise.
“It’s always been an issue but it continues to be the number one problem that we see in Crow Wing County. The dramatic increases in out-of-home placements through community services, that was kind of the final straw, where it really became apparent that this is costing Crow Wing County, and communities across our nation, literally millions of dollars,” said Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard.
This spurred members of local law enforcement and Crow Wing County Community Services to come together and ask, “what can we do different to tackle this problem?”
“Our sheriff’s department and community services, our law enforcement in the community came together to say what do we need to be doing. All the bars keep going up. We’re seeing this to continuing to impact people, families,” explained Tami Lueck, Crow Wing County Adult Services Manager.
They felt it was important to get the community involved, so on Tuesday they hosted a roundtable.
“Our focus is to come up with ideas and try to break that cycle because right now we are looking at third, sometimes fourth generations of people that are using drugs. Methamphetamine being the number one problem, the worst thing in Crow Wing County and our goal is to reach out,” said Goddard. “Have people have a voice. That’s what we want is for people to have involvement, have some ownership in it.”
Around 60 people attended the two-hour event. During the roundtable, attendees split into groups to brainstorm resources that we already have in the community and what we can do better.
“The long-term goal is really to reduce substance use and abuse in our community and hopefully impact things like our child protection reports, kids in out-of-home placement,” added Lueck. “Keep people safe and not using and supported when they chose not to use.”