Walker County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Charlie Perkins and Detective Justin Smith met with members of the Hawthorn Civic Group on Monday in an effort to create greater community drug awareness. The officers brought information pamphlets, photos and a display case to help inform the community members about common drugs identified in the community.

Perkins said approximately 85 to 90 percent of all crime stem from narcotics.

“Every bit you take off the street means that it doesn’t go to anyone else,” he said.

Community members learned brief histories of the drugs, how they are made, how they are consumed and what signs to look for if think someone is using drugs. Marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine were the major drugs discussed during the meeting.

Officers also said a form of crystalline methamphetamine, commonly known as “ice,” is becoming an epidemic in the community. The drug began as a predominantly rural drug used by whites, but in recent years has spread to urban and minority communities.

“Ice is the worst drug on the streets, due to the high level addictions and the effects it has on the body,” Smith told the group.

Recently, the level of meth labs has decreased due to government restrictions on the purchase of the drugs commonly found components available in stores.

A majority of the supply of Ice is being brought in from Mexico and distributed from the Rio Grande Valley through North Texas.

Smith urged community members to take an active part in the fight against drugs by calling the sheriff’s office with information about suspicious activity in their community.

Signs to look for include the volume of traffic at residences, length of time visitors spend at the residences and unusual items found in and around the house. He explained the process takes time before a search warrant is given. From the initial call, the sheriff's department must identify people in question, catch the person in the act through an informant, officer buy or stop an individual who made a buy from the people in question.

Hawthorn Civic Group President Richard Robins said the presentation’s purpose was to provide the community with more information about drug awareness. The sheriff’s department was invited to speak to members after participating in August’s National Night Out sponsored by the civic group.

The WCSO Narcotics Division began in January 2005 and since then, 465 narcotics related arrests have been made. To report suspicious activity, contact the sheriff’s office at (936) 435-2400 or submit a complaint through the WCSO Web site at www.co.walker.tx.us/departments/sheriff.htm.

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