It’s no secret that our nation has a serious opioid and addiction problem. It is also apparent that local, state, and federal agencies are either ill-equipped, or outright overwhelmed to the point that something in addition to the actions of those agencies has to be done.
Have you ever sat at your computer or on your couch with a newspaper, and read about yet another youth whose life was cut short by drugs, and wished you could do something about it? Well, this is your chance.
By this point, you are probably asking yourself how you, as an individual, could possibly make a positive impact on something that is so wide-spread and out of control. While I’m not going to pretend that it’s going to be easy, there are steps that you can take.
While treatment of addicts is helpful, it only helps with a portion of the problem. And it is a portion that most people won’t have much influence on, outside of donating to clinics that treat these people. The other half of the problem is the drug dealers themselves. No, I am not talking about “big pharma” or doctors.
We all know that it is the responsibility of the parents to set a good example for their children. If you’re a drug user and a parent, don’t act shocked when your child is carted off to the hospital for overdosing or in a body-bag due to an overdose. I know it’s a “tough pill” to swallow, but let’s face it; you didn’t do much to prevent such a horrible thing.
So assuming you’re a clean and responsible parent, who is setting a good example for not only your child, but your child’s friends, there are also extra steps you can take to help get these dealers off the streets.
One extremely easy thing to do is setting up security systems and/or game trail cameras in areas where you know trafficking is happening, but the police never seem to be there at the right time. This is a tactic that is commonly done on the southern border, where literally tons of various drugs are smuggled into the U.S. every year. The information gathered by these cameras can then be given to the police and acted upon. Our country is full of hunters, so I know these game cameras are already in many households. However, if you don’t have one, they can be relatively inexpensive. They usually have high-quality video and picture capabilities, including infrared night vision. The information gathered by these cameras can be used so the police know of higher trafficking areas that they should be patrolling, or images and videos that could even result in arrests and jail time. This is the least invasive and safest route a citizen could take to help the police.
Another way that you can be active in this fight, are citizen patrols. Block Watch works! However, citizen patrols are more that peeking through your curtains and calling the police. Citizen patrols are 100 percent legal, but depending on your location, can also be considerably more dangerous.
This is also another useful tactic commonly used on the southern border. Citizen militias will spend days out in the desert and heavily trafficked corridors, on and off the border, reporting their findings to the proper federal agencies; normally Border Patrol or the Bureau of Land Management. In your case, you would be reporting back to the Sheriff’s Dept. or local Police.
This differs from the game camera approach in the way that an “active” area is usually not conducive to committing illegal activities. Street level drug dealers generally don’t like to be seen, much less caught. This is why citizen patrols can be, and are so effective.
To the county sheriffs and local police; put your egos to the side, and understand that you don’t have the funding or manpower to do this alone. And no matter how good you’ve been doing, the problem is outpacing you. You’re going to need to work with these groups if you truly want to get these dealers off the streets.
The simplest way to start your citizen patrols is by putting together neighborhood and community groups. If you can get former L.E. or military involved, that will help a lot, as citizen arrests are perfectly legal and having that background will make it less dangerous for those people to do it, rather than untrained individuals.
Once you’ve formed your groups, put together schedules where people in pairs or greater, are taking walks (patrolling) in shifts. These “walks” could also be done as dog walks. Adding dogs also generally adds a level of safety and security. There will obviously be more dangerous times and areas to perform these patrols, so make sure the more qualified people take those shifts. Patrolling in pairs or more is not only a safety thing, but if there is a confrontation or citizen’s arrest, there are people to record it with their phones. Again, this phone footage can not only potentially result in an arrest and conviction of the bad guy, but also cover your butt in a civil case. You can also purchase and wear body cameras so you have your hands free.
Now I am not going to promise that these tactics are going to get 100 percent of the dealers off the streets. But these tactics do work!
Some people will call this vigilantism. It’s not! Those are the words spoken by people who are content with hiding in their homes and letting the problem grow, while the great citizens of this nation keep falling prey to the beast that continues to rampage through the country.
Citizen militias do these things every day in far more dangerous areas of the southern border. Well, so can the citizens of your hometown. However, you have to be willing to put in the time, energy, dedication and maybe a little money.
As stated before, treating today’s addicts is only a portion of ridding the your area of this problem. You, the people, have to also take a stand and let these dealers know that they are not welcome, that there are always eyes on them, and that you will not allow there to be the addicts of tomorrow. Dealers prey on the weak and willing. It is a parent’s job to insure that their kids are not weak or willing. You can make it too hard and dangerous for the dealers to even try.