Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 2015
Source: Macomb Daily, The (MI)
Copyright: 2015 The Macomb Daily
Author: Sean Delaney
Page: 4


Chief: Two Residents Have Died in Overdoses This Year

To combat a growing trend of individuals selling, buying and using 
heroin in Shelby Township, Police Chief Robert Shelide plans to 
permanently assign a narcotics officer to serve on the U.S. Drug 
Enforcement Administration's task force.

Shelide presented a plan to the township's Board of Trustees April 7 
to show how he will restructure the department's detective bureau to 
allow for the task force inclusion.

"I'm very serious about combatting t he heroin problem," Shelide 
said. "The person we select for this position will have the highest 
standards and be one of the most talented officers in our department. 
At the end of the day, we want these (heroin dealers) eradicated from 
our community."

According to Shelide, there have been at least two deaths attributed 
to heroin overdoses in Shelby Township since he was sworn in as chief 
on Jan. 19.

"When you're dealing with heroin, you're dealing with the devil," 
Shelide said. "That's why we're going to go after anyone who peddles 
this stuff with all of our resources."

While the department has been put in the spotlight in recent years 
due to its efforts to combat the sale and use of K2, a dangerous form 
of synthetic marijuana, Shelide said its efforts to fight the heroin 
epidemic requires "something different."

"The K2 was being sold out of gas stations by merchants who were 
trying to make a buck," he said. "They weren't told it was illegal, 
so they figured they could do it. This is something different."

To help address the issue, Shelide said he approached the DEA with 
the idea of placing a Shelby Township officer on the group's Detroit 
task force.

"We had a lot of meetings with the DEA's leadership, and we were able 
to come to an agreement regarding which unit our officer will be 
placed in," Shelide said. "They have several groups, but our officer 
will be focusing on heroin in the Macomb County area."

According to Shelide, the task force will take a proactive approach 
to the heroin problem by going after the mid-level and high-level 
dealers in Macomb County and beyond.

"Going after the smalltime peddlers isn't going to make a real dent 
in this problem, so we're going after the bigger fish using all the 
resources of the federal government," he said.

Shelide said he has already received letters of interest from six 
offers who have expressed a desire to serve on the DEA panel.

"They're all very talented officers," he said. "With approval from 
the board, I plan to have someone on the task force by the end of the month."
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