Marijuana raid demonstrates how public can help police
Congratulations to Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen, Enterprise Police Wes Kilgore and their respective staffs for apprehending an Enterprise-based marijuana growing operation last week.
The raid, which resulted in two arrests and the confiscation of 97 plants, bags of dried dope, and growing equipment, was a substantive and positive first step in dealing with Wallowa County's drug problem, which has been swept under the rug for too many years.
Even more impressive than the bust itself is the way the operation unfolded. Police received a tip about the whereabouts of the dope from an informant cultivated at the recent "drug summit" organized by the sheriff's department. That event was attended 55 people including parole officers, mental health counselors and many ordinary citizens who expressed their concern about the extent of Wallowa County's drug problem.
Authorities say the summit produced additional tips that they believe will lead to more arrests in the near future. That is not only good news for law-abiding citizens but perhaps also for pushers and addicts who will finally receive the wake up call they need to break free from the shackles of illegal drugs. We need to remember that people who are addicted to drugs are not bad people, they're people who are ill with a very real and debilitating disease. Often they cannot or will not get help until men with badges and warrants show up at their front door.
All of this just goes to show that the public can play a very important role in helping law enforcement start to build a healthier and safer community. Everybody wins when that happens. R.S.