Berea police forming Drug Task Force to battle heroin

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BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Berea welcomes you, but not the drugs that are coming into the town, especially heroin.

"It's something that we really didn't see here, in Berea, but now we've had a handful of cases so far and we're afraid that it's going to be more of a problem," said Sgt. Jake Reed of the Berea Police Department.

Heroin is making a sudden rise in the area, and it's being blamed on trafficking out of Detroit.

"We're seeing more heroin being used in our county because it's cheaper and because it's much purer than it was years ago," described Jimmy Cornelison, the Madison County EMS Director and County Coroner.

Cornelison also thinks heroin is on the rise because the battle against the pill mill is making those drugs harder to obtain. Still, he's concerned about the number of heroin overdoses that he's seeing as both EMS and coroner.

"I think for the month of December, I had three or four (deaths) and we're, you know, being pretty constant with it. I mean it's not one of those things that comes and goes, and it seems to be maybe increasing as we go."

With the drug also comes other problems.

"Not only is it another drug on the street but more drugs on the street cause other crime," explained Sgt. Reed.

So Berea is standing up, and re-assembling their task force just a year after it was dissolved because of budgeting. Berea will team up with the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Police Department, Irvine Police Department, and the Winchester Police Department.

"We work with those other agencies and we can get a lot more information," said Sgt. Reed, who adds that the Berea Police are expecting big things with the Drug Task Force.

"The added man power is really something that's a great benefit to all of the departments that are involved," he added.

"That's the only way they can combat it, there is no way to eliminate it," said Cornelison.

Sgt. Reed went on to say, "We're going to be out there and once we get going we're definitely going to be showing some results."

That's because these men believe if the task force can save even just one life, then it's well worth it!

Sgt. Reed said the department is hoping to have the Drug Task Force operational by this summer.

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