Auglaize - Mercer County task force begins battling a new drug - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Auglaize - Mercer County task force begins battling a new drug

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Sheriff Al Solomon spoke at the St. Marys Rotary Club meeting, on Wednesday afternoon, giving an update on their best way to combat the issue, their special response team. Sheriff Al Solomon spoke at the St. Marys Rotary Club meeting, on Wednesday afternoon, giving an update on their best way to combat the issue, their special response team.
The task force was created in 1999. The task force was created in 1999.

Opioid addiction remains to be seen as a great issue in Ohio. Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon spoke at the St. Marys Rotary Club meeting, on Wednesday afternoon, giving an update on their best way to combat the issue, their special response team. 

With the help of new Auglaize County Chief Deputy Mike Peterson, the two provided updates on the Auglaize-Mercer County Grand Lake Task Force. While heroin and opioid addiction remain the top target, a new issue has arisen.

"Our issue is now that, we’re starting to see a little bit more of an influx of meth," said Solomon. "That bothers us a little bit. We’re combating all that with the programs that are out there with the arrest powers that we have, hopefully everyone working together, whether its mental health, law enforcement, everybody working together maybe we can get some things done."

The task force was created in 1999. It involves the Mercer County and Auglaize County Sheriff’s Offices as well as the police departments in both counties. This team was assembled to assist all departments in both counties for specialized cases. 

On occasion, the special response team will assist neighboring counties, considering the fight against drugs isn’t limited to one area. Peterson said the task force has come a long way. The progression of the team is important to Solomon because their is no particular description of a drug user.

"Just seeing the people in our counties because they aren’t that big, this doesn’t have an age, this doesn’t have a gender or anything like that. In some cases it's people that we know or its people that the task force people know. It’s people our deputies know and that’s a struggle for some people involved in law enforcement."

While on calls, officers are carrying Narcan a brand name for the drug naloxone. It's a drug that can reverse the affects of an opioid overdose.

"The Narcan, while it’s there to help other people and hopefully save other lives, it is also there to save our deputies lives if they come in contact with it or another law enforcement officer’s life."

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