On Tuesday, the Pa. State Attorney General's Office was in charge of a local raid which resulted in 11 arrests on drug and burglary charges. Confiscated, according to reports, was a large amount of heroin.

Only a court can decide if any or all those apprehended are guilty of any crimes, but it is obvious by the amount of the drug confiscated that there is a serious influx locally of the hard, illegal, and unforgiving drug.

Any veteran police officer will tell you that heroin isn't the only drug prevalent in the area. Meth, cocaine, and especially marijuana are all prevalent.

It's a scary scenario. It means that drug pushers are preying on our children, that hooked users are desperate and committing crimes to get money to satisfy their addictions, and that safety is jeopardized by stoned junkies.

We applaud the Attorney General's Office and the local police who serve on task forces that risk their lives continuously to find drug pushers and make arrests. Again, for clarification, this isn't to imply that those apprehended yesterday are guilty. All we're saying is that there is enough smoke to indicate a very serious fire, figuratively speaking.

These aren't the first drug arrests made locally and they won't be the last. Anyone who attends trials or sentencings in any local courtroom can tell you the horrible implications from drugs. People high on drugs cause accidents, drive recklessly, get into fights, steal, and do other things they wouldn't do when they're sober.

The rhetoric often recited during guilty please proves this. Many defendants have professed their addictions to local judges and begged for help in beating the demons that are destroying them.

Anyone working in a hospital emergency room is certainly aware of the local drug problems. School teachers know the disruptions and destruction these drugs create.

Local police in general are well trained to deal with addicts, pushers. and peddlers. They know what marijuana looks and smells like.

Their superiors – borough councils and township supervisors – must be encouraged to let police officers take as many courses as they can regarding the war on drugs. The enemy is too potent to ignore. Savy lawyers are always willing to look for weaknesses in the cases police make so their clients are protected.

Taking a drug case to court is a complicated and sometimes frustrating procedure. Making the arrest is even more complex. Police must be able to identify the respective drugs and be trained in preserving evidence, proper apprehension of suspects, and the legal aspects of the case.

The raid on Tuesday had participation of many local police officers. Cops from numerous communities worked together to make arrests.

We can't let our guard down in the war on drugs. We must educate and warn our children. We must become involved in working to keep our streets in control. We must back the police officers who make the arrests.

The war on drugs is a battle that will probably rage on for a long, long time. We must work together to make an attempt to keep the number of victims as low as possible. We must be willing to devote whatever resources are necessary to at least keep the battle in check.

Yesterday's raids shows that at least vigilance is occurring, and this is good.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com