Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jun 2011 Source: Cullman Times, The (AL) Copyright: 2011 The Cullman Times Contact: http://www.cullmantimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4796 TACKLING THE DRUG TRADE CULLMAN - Area law enforcement agents got the attention of Cullman County's drug culture when they rounded up 96 people on charges ranging from manufacturing to possession last week. Will the sweeping arrests bring illegal drug activity to a close in Cullman County? No. But perhaps this is the beginning of a tireless effort to do something about a problem that destroys the lives of far too many people in our area. Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey and Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team director Joey Cone led a press conference after the arrests were announced and discussed the planning that was required to make such a large impact on the drug trade. A lot of people are grateful to see the arrests, and plenty of support exists in the community for law enforcement agencies to continue this cooperative effort in attacking the drug dealers across the county. The drug arrests covered a wide range of offenses, from manufacturing methamphetamine to possession of marijuana. The question that arises following the arrests is how to prevent offenders from continuing to peddle or purchase drugs. Rehabilitation is expensive and hard to come by. Making meth is a relatively simple task that produces plenty of income for those who can't find the motivation to earn an honest living. County jails and state prisons are also crowded and lack funding, too. But law enforcement agents are doing their job. Sheriff Rainey noted that one of the main reasons he sought elected office was to go after the drug trade in Cullman County. Law enforcement officers have a wide range of duties they must perform in serving the public, but making a serious dent in the drug traffic across the county certainly should be the top priority, as Rainey noted. Cullman County has capable investigators to tackle the job. They will continue to need assistance from citizens, who must also be courageous in reporting activities that appear to be drug-related in their communities. Along with this focused enforcement effort, area leaders should also give thought to providing more rehabilitation for drug users. Cutting demand for these life-destroying substances is key in making a reduction in the drug trade. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.