$146,000 approved to fight meth in our area

The Pennington County Commission has approved a grant of 146,000 dollars to fight methamphetamine in South Dakota

The state set aside a million dollars to combat the growing crisis.

The money will be used to fund 3 investigators that focus exclusively on methamphetamine involved cases, 2 working within the Oglala Sioux Nation and one with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff expressed that over 90% of the prison population of Pennington County jail is meth related.

Sheriff Kevin Thom of Pennington County had this to say.

“We continue to arrest people in record numbers, the last 5 or 6 years that continues to spike each year,” Thom explained. “The quantity of methamphetamine we’re seizing has gone up significantly. Smaller quantities before, ounces of methamphetamine is now replaced with pounds of methamphetamine, and It’s gotten cheaper.”

Pennington County officials expressed the need to take the issue head on, and that arresting people who are already addicted isn’t enough.

Deb Hancock with the Pennington County Commission expressed the growing crisis.

“To help people with treatment and prevention, is going to cost us millions,” Hancock said. “It effects the mental health parts, it effects the jails, it effects our prisons, it effects everything for the future of the costs of the constituents of Pennington County.”

The Pennington County Commission expressed the need for long term prevention and treatment along with the plan to prevent more methamphetamine from coming to South Dakota.

Categories: Local News