It's Time To Get Tough On Meth Use

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Burglary, theft, assault, DUI, child abuse, domestic violence these are just a few of the crimes related to drug use.

Payson has more than its fair share of such crimes, many of which are on the rise and directly related to the use, sale and manufacture of methamphetamine.

Chief Gordon Gartner has "drawn a line in the sand" by asking the Payson Town Council Thursday to assist his department financially in its efforts to choke out the problem.

The police department is in the attack mode, having created a six-month aggressive, six-month enhanced-enforcement program to deal with the town's meth-related woes. Gartner is requesting $51,000 from the council contingency fund to finance a short-term battle.

The chief plans to increase his efforts to impact the meth problem by assigning two full-time Special Enforcement Officers. Enforcement will include a repeat offender program with enhanced penalties; reward money for informants; overtime for predicted workload increase; surveillance and drug-testing equipment and training not only for the officers, but for utilization by employers and civic organizations to educate Rim country residents about methamphetamine.

Daisy Gilker, the newly-appointed county attorney, has thrown her department's support behind Chief Gartner.

Yesterday, Gilker announced that as of March 1, she will aggressively prosecute all drug cases as they come across her desk. One hoped-for result is that there will be no more waiting for lab results which can drag court cases out for months while suspects flee, leaving their victims behind.

We urge the Payson Town Council to throw their support and their funds behind Chief Gartner in his effort to gain control of the illegal drug trade in Payson.

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