MONUMENT, COLORADO- Here in Southern Colorado law enforcement agencies continue to face new challenges in stopping illegal drug abuse and trafficking in our communities. Investigative Reporter Patrick Nelson spoke to police leaders in monument about a recent spike in gun and drug crimes in their area.
This spike in crime is on the radar of Monument leaders. In the town manager’s report for this month it states officers are seeing increased amounts of heroin and illegal guns. As law enforcement works on pooling resources to stop these crimes, drug addiction counselors say the fight starts at home.
Thousands of drivers pass over Monument hill every day, but in the Town of Monument some people who decide to stop are up to no good, bringing with them drugs and illegal guns.
“Right now we are seeing an increase in heroin and meth possession,” said Monument Police Commander Steve Burk.
Officers say these crimes are driven by drug addiction.
“Nationally we’re seeing an opioid epidemic. That’s been very well publicized and monument is no different,” said Burk
And fueled by career criminals passing through monument looking to quickly cash in.
“They jump off the interstate come into our town commit a crime and then try to leave and officers are contacting them and they have a tendency to have drugs and weapons,” said Burk.
Laura Swain is a recovering drug addict who has been sober for more than 30 years. She now helps others in recovery and says parents can protect their kids from drugs by keeping them involved.
“Have places to go. Have fun things to do. Have extracurricular activities. Sports, chess, drama, all of that is very important,” said Swain.
During the national opioid crisis she says it is worth it for parents to drug test their kids.
“Don’t be afraid to,” said Swain. “Especially if they are driving for goodness sake because then they could die and the consequences are so serious if they get a DUI.”
In Monument, officers know they aren’t alone in this fight and hope their tight knit community will pull together to report crimes and avoid the dangers of drug use.
The Monument Police Department is adjusting patrol shifts and training officers to crackdown on drug crimes. Also, they’re hoping to add more officers to the force in 2019.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction here are some resources provided by Recovery Systems PC in Colorado Springs: recovery-systems.org