State’s attorney tries curbing opioid crisis

Local News

PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — One Central Illinois state’s attorney is trying to help law enforcement battle the opioid crisis.

He’s donating money from a special account to give to four different agencies in Ford County. A police chief in one of the cities that’s getting the money says it’ll be a big help to pay for training and equipment they need to respond to opioid emergencies.

When it comes to drugs and overdoses, police officers see it all.

“Hydrocodone, oxycontin, we’ve had a lot of issues with pills over the last several years.”

And so do state’s attorneys.

“Between 90 and 100 people die every day from opioid related overdose. That’s three times more than drunk driving.”

That’s nationwide – and it happens right here in Central Illinois.

“We’ve had a number of overdose deaths in just the year I’ve been in office.”

So in response – the Ford County States Attorney is helping to curb that trend.

“Our local agencies are underfunded when it comes to trying to fight the opioid crisis, both in law enforcement and in treatment.”

He’s giving two thousand to four agencies in his county. The money can be used for any drug related enforcement. Paxton Police say the money is coming at the right time, and they need it to buy equipment for when they respond to drug related emergencies and arrests.

“Drug field test kits. So say for instance you find heroine, you have to drug test it immediately. That’s what we’d use it for. They’re pretty expensive.”

While this money is just a small drop in the bucket, they say anything helps when it comes cracking down on drugs.

The money will be spread out equally between each of the four agencies. Those include Paxton Police, Ford County Sheriff, Gibson City Police, and the Kankakee Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The money was taken out of the Ford County drug forfeiture fund. It’s been collecting money since 2014 and comes from felony related drug cases where property is seized and auctioned off. 

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