Mount Pleasant police forces educated on prevention, awareness of drug trafficking in town

Mount Pleasant police officers have cracked down on the drug trafficking industry in town in the last decade.

This change has manifested in an increase of drug-related arrests in 2012, Mount Pleasant Public Information Officer Jeff Thompson said, and the arrests are in correlation with the experience and education of the officers.

"It's not so much that there is an increase in deliveries, but there is probably an increase in the enforcement and officers taking action on what they are seeing because they are more educated," Thompson said.

New drugs always seem to surface, then dissipate when police forces adjust to how it is sold. Lately, however, Mount Pleasant has not seen a new drug impact the community.

“We haven’t seen anything new in Mount Pleasant or Isabella County,” Thompson said.

Even with bath salts, there have not been as many occurrences in Mount Pleasant as there have been nationwide.

"It's happened, but it's not the issue here that it has been elsewhere in the state or the country," Thompson said.

In 2006-07, cocaine use became popular in Mount Pleasant. It’s popularity disappeared when the use of heroin took over shortly after, Thompson said. After heroin, Oxycontin became the new trend.

Methamphetamine became popular in Mount Pleasant around 2003 before cocaine, while ecstasy also began to surface in circles with college students, Thompson said. A new drug seemed to follow another as soon as one filtered out.

“They wouldn’t bring it here if other people weren’t already using it,” Thompson said.

On the drug trafficking side, technology has played a factor in distribution as well.

In the past, drug deals were often called through landline phones, which could easily be tapped. However, deals are now organized through cheap cell phones that can be replaced.

“Cell phones are harder to track, because now they can just throw them away,” Thompson said. “Technology has definitely played a part in drug trafficking.”

The university brings in roughly 25,000 students a year, and these students come from all over the country as well as the world, CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said.

“When people come here, they bring their good qualities and positive traits,” Yeagley said. “But sometimes, they bring in some of their bad habits.”

Local police agencies working together to share information helps to restrict drug flows.

Another tactic is as simple as CMU police educating incoming students on drugs during the required first-year orientation, where police address anything a student might come in contact with from marijuana to the date rape drug.

One of Yeagley’s main goals is to prevent students from becoming victims and being taken advantage of through the use of addiction.

“Anyone who takes advantage of our students are the ones we want to target and pay special attention to,” Yeagley said. “And they are not welcome here.”


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