Pubdate: Mon, 11 Jan 2016
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2016 The News and Observer Publishing Company


Donnie Harrison may figure that, having been sheriff of Wake County 
since 2002, the Wake Board of Commissioners ought to respect his 
opinion and follow his recommendations without much question. To some 
degree, Harrison is right. But it would have been good if the 
sheriff, seeking more money to expand his drugs and vice unit, had 
offered up a few more specifics on arrests and seizures and had 
produced a report on drug busts and Mexican drug cartels he cited in 
justifying his request for funding.

That said, the sheriff got his additional money, and he had the 
unanimous support of commissioners. Harrison's arguments about why 
Wake County is a prime target of Mexican drug organizations seem 
logical. The Triangle has a plethora of highways, and its population 
is growing. Harrison wrote to commissioners that Mexican traffickers 
are moving cocaine, for one example, directly into the Triangle 
rather than shipping it through the larger metropolitan area of Atlanta.

Harrison also had some strong and scary news on his side: His 
deputies, a month or so ago, seized about 100 pounds of cocaine, and 
a little more than a year ago, seized a large amount of the drug with 
a high purity level. What that means, Harrison told commissioners, is 
that the drugs are being moved by expert traffickers. "That tells 
us,"  he said, "that we're beginning to be the center, the hub."

The well-scrubbed Wake County that many residents know, where the big 
debate lately has been over bike lanes, is not the Wake County many 
thousands of other residents know. There has long been a strong, 
dangerous drug culture in this area, and the sheriff is right to focus on it.
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