Children are going hungry every day in Columbia and much of the cause is drug-related.
Columbia Police Chief Jason Cross shared that concern with members of the Columbia City Council Monday night.
“It’s amazing the amount of kids in Adair County who go hungry. We’ve seen it today. We see it nearly every day and a lot of it stems from drug problems. It’s heartbreaking,” Cross said.
Cross said his department continues to address illegal drug use in Columbia and has a number of active cases using an undercover officer. Sadly, they are seeing a new trend in the drug of choice.
“Ninety percent of our cases are crystal meth. That’s not good,” Cross said. “It’s not good for us…crystal meth is shipped in from somewhere else, so now you have those pushers moving in.”
Cross said the crystal meth market has taken over where crack cocaine was once the prominent illegal drug. He is also concerned about heroin.
“We’re seeing it. Russell County is seeing it. Taylor County is seeing it,” he said.
Cross said his department has made some adjustments to reign in overtime hours but he questions if that will be possible if heroin starts making a stronghold in the community.
“We are answering more calls with knives, and guns and fights involved than I ever remember, Cross said, noting that in one day they have five fights at an apartment complex, “all drug-related.”
“We’ve got to do something to get it under control,” he said, thanking the council for their support, especially with their undercover drug operation.
By Sharon Burton