NEW CREEK - A retired West Virginia State Trooper shared his perspective on the area's drug problem recently when the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce held its next-to-last regional meeting at the New Creek Fire Hall.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
NEW CREEK - A retired West Virginia State Trooper shared his perspective on the area’s drug problem recently when the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce held its next-to-last regional meeting at the New Creek Fire Hall.
John Droppleman, who retired from the WVSP and is now assistant director of support services/transportation for the Mineral County Board of Education, said the illegal drugs are not only being brought into the area from Baltimore and other large cities, but they are also now “being manufactured throughout the county.”
In his experience, illegal meth labs are now a “bigger problem than heroin” in Mineral County, he said.
He expressed the frustration he felt as an officer in trying to fight the drug problem under the current federal laws.
“We can go out and work on the street-level issues … but the frustrating thing is what’s being done on the federal level,” he said.”These drugs come into Baltimore Harbor every day … and nothing is being done.
“It’s tearing our country apart from family to family,” he said.
One thing that can be done on the local level, he added, is for the citizens to get involved.
“If the citizens see something going on, they have to report it to the police,” he said. “I know people are afraid … but we have to be more active in the community.”
Those present talked about the need for young people to get more involved in positive activities as a means of staying away from the temptations of drugs.
Dusty Amtower, New Creek fire chief, suggested getting them involved in local fire departments and other groups.
County commissioner Jerry Whisner noted that there is no easy answer to the problem.
The chamber has been conducting various regional meetings throughout Mineral County in an attempt to bring people together to discuss concerns and issues for their particular areas.
The meetings are part of the chamber’s drive to reorganize itself and connect the various sections of the county.