“It may not look like it. You may not see it, but we’re out here fighting it every day and every night.”
–Barbourville Police Chief Winston Tye
Barbourville Police Chief Winston says his officers are fighting the war on drugs in Barbourville every day of the week.
And it’s a steep uphill battle.
“When my officers are called out to respond to a domestic problem or disagreement over money, oftentimes, it turns out to be drug related, Chief Tye told those gathered at the Knox Count Coalition meeting Tuesday.
“It may not look like it,” he said. “You may not see it. But we’re out here fighting it every day and every night,” he said.
Officers, he said are putting in a lot of overtime trying to keep up with the numerous complaints and anonymous tips they receive from the community.
“If you know something and you think we don’t know it, call us,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know the police department has a drug tip line. It’s 546-DRUG, and we’re going to start advertising it. It doesn’t have a recorder on it, no caller ID. It’s just a plain line that goes to an answering machine.
“If someone calls and leaves a message, they can tell us where the people are at, and we can check it out. If it’s somewhere out in the county, we can pass it along to the sheriff or KSP, and get something done about it through them. Understand, we may not be able to jump up, run out and arrest them right away. We have to investigate and make sure we have our ducks in a row and warrants in place before we go out and arrest someone.”
According to Chief Tye, the three drugs his department has dealt with the most are heroin, meth and suboxone. Pills, he said are still out there, and state police have seen a rise in Tramadol overdoses, but locally, the top three remain drugs remain the top three.
Chief Tye added that, along with the drug hotline, his department would also answer anyone’s call about collecting used needles spotted throughout the city. Everyone was reminded that if you must store a used needle while waiting for police to pick it up, put it inside a water bottle and close the lid on it.
“We’re here for you,” said Chief Tye. “If you need us, just call.”