The local drug task force is a branch off of the Price City Police Department. The task force has a county officer and a Price City officer devoted to the job. It is strictly grant funded and have criteria that it submits quarterly and yearly for its funds. The task force is community based and is a collaborative effort.
The drug problem in Carbon County is a cause for concern. Heroin, methamphetamine and prescription pills are currently a big concern. Heroin is not only psychologically addicting, it also has a physical dependency because it acts as a stimulant. Meth does not necessarily cause a physical withdrawal. There is no particular age group that is being affected more or less by the drug; it affects everyone. There is no demographic; anyone can become dependent.
Drugs are overstimulating and hit pleasure centers in such a way that it overpowers other needs and desires. People are most often willing to give up anything for them. The task force wants to be out there making a difference in people’s lives. The members of the force state that getting arrested is one of the major ways that drug abusers are able to turn their lives around. “People have come to us and said the best thing that has ever happened to them was getting arrested,” Price City Police Captain Bill Barnes said.
The drug task force encourages citizens to call and make members of the task force and other officers aware when they see or suspect drug use in the community. The members want citizens to know that they are trying and that they don’t want them to become discouraged. Although action may not be taken right away when an issue is reported, something will be done about it. The task force stresses that the community needs to be the eyes and ears of the task force. Copying down license plates and getting descriptions of people involved is very helpful. Calls don’t have to be directed straight to the task force. Information can be given to a patrol officer you know or any other law enforcement officer or deputy.
One of the unfortunate effects of drug use is that it can be a gateway to other crimes. It is almost always accompanied by theft and assault. Drug use most often ends up creating criminal behavior, which makes it not only the task force’s problem or the user’s problem, it is the community’s problem as well. When a call is placed to the force or the police department, you are not only helping the user, you are helping yourself and your community.
“People like to see people that submit drug crimes as snitches,” said a member of the drug task force. “But if you saw someone doing something else like raping someone, you would have no problem turning that in. So why not this? Five percent of the population are causing 95% of the community’s problems.”
Heroin, meth and other opiates such as prescription pills, however, are not the only issues in the Carbon County community. There are still other drugs on the street, including marijuana. Since its recreational legalization in several states and other states that have legalized medicinal marijuana, it is more and more looked at as a non issue. It is still 100% illegal in the state of Utah.
“I really object to media portrayals when they talk about medical marijuana and they always show a picture of a marijuana plant in full bud,” Captain Barnes said. “That’s not medical marijuana.”
Members of the force would like the community to understand that they are doing the best that they can with what they have. They are still under the arm of the law and have to do things in a certain way. Once they arrest perpetrators, it is no longer in their control what penalties are handed out. Their job is only to investigate and arrest. Throughout the United States, it seems as if users and offenders are getting off on chargers over and over again. Once a person gets arrested for the same crime multiple times, some are asking, why are they being let off? The community is becoming more educated in the ways of the law and are getting more involved.
“We have made a substantial dent and at least made it known that we are out there enforcing the drug laws,” a member of the task force said. If you have any information that you would like to give to the police department or drug task force, please contact 637-TIPS (8477) for the drug task force and (435) 636-3190 for the police department. You can also contact Price dispatch at (435) 637-0890.