Community Rallies For Policy Change

Law enforcement, judicial representatives and social service workers have met numerous times in the past, but this gathering was called a new approach to solving the substance abuse concerns of Nacogdoches County. Nacogdoches Safe and Drug Free Director Terrie Mayfield organized the gathering. "This meeting is really an action meeting where we're going to say, 'All right we're past the point where we're talking about prevention methods'. Not that those aren't important and we don't want to continue doing those, but we want to move forward and say how can we help the legislators understand what we need in this community to really make a difference."

And they may listen as they did to the cry to make it difficult to purchase over the counter methamphetimine ingredients. Now the FBI regional supervisor Peter Galbraith would like to see laws that would enable them to do more productive surveillance work. "Up to date, as far as technology goes. Title III has always been an option for us for monitoring phone conversations, but with the evolving technology of voice over id and digital telephony it needs to be updated a bit."

Manpower is local law enforcement's need. They're stretched too thin, they say. Drug driven problems lead to overcrowded jails. The concerns were multiplied following the closure of drug task forces. Representative elect Wayne Christian said, "I'm sure we'll be looking back to see, 'OK, what has the results been since that has not been enforced,' and if we can prove, which I feel we can, we might have an opportunity to bring back those organizations or a least some semblance of them."

The problems can't be solved in one meeting, but it continued the dialogue that's so important when facing crucial substance abuse concerns.