LancasterThriving_WinterSpring2017 - 48
COMMUNITY: BUSINESS & COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
And the spiral continues.
But it is rare when an offender's first crime is of extreme
violence, and that is where policing and the criminal-justice
system plays an important part.
An offender's plight often involves an escalation of behavior.
A drug user who begins by stealing mom or dad's cash and
jewelry can become the masked robber with gun in hand.
It happens. Local police and prosecutors are focused on
intervening before a path turns from petty theft to
From a law-enforcement perspective, investigators in
Lancaster County are devoting more time and resources
than ever to combat opioid-dealing, specifically to trim the
number of dealers and minimize the heroin that crosses our
county borders, primarily from Philadelphia, New York, and
The rate of Drug Task Force felony drug arrests involving
opioids has more than quadrupled since 2010.
Last year in Lancaster County, the Drug Task Force seized
1,200 grams - or 40,000 doses - of heroin.
The Drug Task Force targets larger-scale dealers and
trafficking operations across the county. Lancaster City
Police's Selective Enforcement Unit targets dealers within city
limits. Both teams have full plates.
Something else for business owners to be aware of:
Lancaster City Council recently passed an ordinance, being
enforced by police, which outlines where pan-handlers
cannot loiter - close to banks or ATMs, cafes, private
properties, and public transportation stations.
It would be unfair to characterize all pan-handlers, but many
have substance-abuse issues.
The Lancaster County Drug Task Force, a division of
detectives who use informants and surveillance tactics,
estimated about 60 percent of their investigative work and
drug seizures involve heroin and opioids.
Moving forward, a larger scale downshift in the number
of individuals using opioids must be a societal change
implemented within the household. Lancaster County,
and the country at whole, cannot arrest its way out of
The scourge has hit hard and fast.
Drug dealers charged and incarcerated will be replaced.
Eight percent of Lancaster Emergency Medical Services
dispatches last year were for opioid-related incidents - a
three-percent climb from 2015. (Lancaster EMS covers all
or parts of at least 25 municipalities in Lancaster County,
including Lancaster city.)
48 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Winter/Spring2017
Drug abusers who are arrested or check into in-patient
treatment facilities, upon release, are targeted by dealers
who previously sold to them because predatory dealers work
to keep their customers in line with supply, which
Police will continue to protect and serve. Prosecutors will