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An open letter to our police chiefs

08/15/2013 10:55AM, Published by ACL, Categories: Opinion

In this edition, the Chester County Press publishes the first of its three-part investigative report on the rise of heroin in southern Chester County.

During our research, the statistics we have uncovered so far can best be described by a handful of adjectives, but "shocking" and "horrific" are the ones that come most to mind. Each month, each week, each day, your departments -- in cooperation with the State Police in Avondale, the District Attorney's Office and many other local and county-wide agencies -- continue to investigate crimes that are directly connected to heroin, and yet, despite your best efforts, the heroin pipeline into southern Chester County has grown to be a surging, unstoppable monster.

Further, all of you are aware that without a massive influx of support at either the state or federal level, the investigations you continue to undergo are like Band-Aids on a wound that does not stop bleeding.

If, as several of you have expressed in an article that will be published on Aug. 28, that your hands are tied against the mounting storm of this crisis, then we strongly recommend that your departments erase the boundaries that divide your respective municipalities and form one coalition - a task force fully armed with a clear objective. The task force will allow you to share ideas betwen your respective departments, and determine strategies that will generously overlap your respective territories, and keep the public informed.

It costs very little to bring this show of unity to a public forum; certainly, some of you have held town hall meetings at which the public voice has been loudly heard. But if one person's ideas can be heard clearly in, say, Kennett Square, are his or her ideas not valid in another neighborhood, ten miles away in Oxford? We as a county have an epidemic on our hands, and either we adapt an "All In" philosophy in an effort to pose solutions, or we crumble individually, township by township.  

We do not yet know whether your experience, your skills, and the cooperation of your respective police departments and residents will have the strengths of armies, but we have no other choice.

The monster has arrived at our door step. It is your duty to help us lock arms as a community against it. 

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