Cara R. Anthony
(5/17) A battle against drugs has emerged in northern Frederick County as authorities respond to more calls about drug overdoses and illegal drug activity.
During a community meeting Thursday night, Police Chief Greg Eyler spoke to hundreds of parents about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. He hoped they would pass the message along to their kids.
"If you see something that looks like a drug transaction, call the police immediately," Eyler urged.
Drug arrests made by Thurmont police have gone up in recent years, with 23 arrests reported in 2011, 30 reported in 2012 and 30 arrests made so far this year, Eyler said.
Eyler relayed those statistics Thursday night at Catoctin High School, where Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and other law enforcement experts told parents how they can help.
"A lot of this is about parenting," Jenkins said. "A lot of this is being aware of whatís in your kidís backpack coming home and going to school every day."
Parents and students at the meeting also heard from Chris Legore, of Thurmont, who shared his story of recovery. The crowd gave Legore a standing ovation after he spoke about his journey to sobriety.
"If it hadnít been for my wife and kids I wouldnít be here today," Legore said. "I would be in a gutter somewhere."
Legore has been drug-free for almost 90 days. His testimony was heard by parents who had their own questions about preventive steps they can take to protect their children.
In April, northern county residents turned in more than 160 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs at the Thurmont Police Department, according to a news release. Each year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sponsors community events where local residents can drop off unwanted or unused drugs and medications.
Other efforts include a police dog joining the Thurmont Police Department. Eyler has said it will initially cost about $25,000 for the dog, training of an officer and modifying one of the patrol cars for use by a K-9 unit. The annual cost afterward would be about $9,700.
For more information about drug prevention efforts in Thurmont, residents may contact the town police department at 301-271-0905.