This week’s featured question was submitted for an officer of the Merrill Police Department
“I’ve been hearing a lot about a drug officer on social media and how the city keeps saying no. What exactly is a drug officer and how is it any different than any officer we have now? I thought we already had one anyway? I would just like to better understand what it is rumor and what is true. If this is what needs to be to get the drugs out of our community then so be it!”
Answer given by Merrill Police Captain Corey Bennett:
“The position of Drug Investigator or Drug Officer has indeed been getting some debate lately. The City has actually taken a serious look at that position. It’s just that our financial picture doesn’t lend itself to creating new positions at this time. The position of Drug Investigator does not currently exist within the Merrill Police Department. Currently, our officers and investigators balance a wide spectrum of cases (including drug investigations), each requiring their attention to maintain a broad level of service. Conversely, a Drug Investigator could be directed and assigned to disrupt drug activities in the city without worry of responding to other calls.
“Our experiences at the PD certainly indicate that drug activity has increased or at least significantly changed in Merrill. I don’t believe this could completely be demonstrated with the usual offense/arrest statistics. Rather, our experiences have observed the influence that drug activity has on social problems and other criminal activity such as retail theft, property crimes, family offenses, etc. Currently, we are working on creative solutions to address, what we believe, is a community need.
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Merrill Fire Department, Tomahawk Police Department, Lincoln County Administrative Coordinator Randy Scholz, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson and Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.