LEBANON, Ind.-- Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen says the problem with heroin has grown to near-epidemic levels.
In order to against the drug, Nielsen has proposed creating a new, specialized drug interdiction unit. The new unit would focus on keeping drugs, especially heroin, out of Boone County by focusing patrols on roadways used by traffickers--notably I-865 and I-65 between Indianapolis and Chicago.
"We've got to be very proactive in fighting it from the front lines," said Nielsen.
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest hurdles in creating the unit is money. The total cost, Nielsen says, would be just over $2 million. That includes hiring new officers and getting all the equipment they would need. He would like to hire at least six new officers. Nielsen says no new positions have been added to the Sheriff's department in nine years. Positions have been filled and replaced whenever vacancies have opened up.
"What we've got is we're facing a problem that most law enforcement agencies are across this country," said Nielsen, "in that we're seeing an increase in crime and we can't find the funding to add staff."
The request will be part of the 2017 budge which the Sheriff will present to the Boone County Council in September.