Big Boost

THE FIGHT against drugs is never ending. Illegal drugs will never be totally removed from our streets.

The Belmont County Drug Task Force, however, is doing a superb job of putting a dent in drug-trafficking operations. Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland doubles as task force commander. His drug-busting unit is exceptional in carrying out its duties.

The drug task force has made countless arrests and taken massive amounts of drugs and weapons off our streets. It has accomplished this while being handcuffed by a lack of manpower and money to execute its tasks.

Belmont County Commissioners realize the vital role that the drug task force plays in Eastern Ohio. So much so the commissioners delivered a $50,000 check to McFarland and his task force Thursday. It will be money wisely spent in rounding up more drug felons.

“The money will go towards equipment and towards operations,” said McFarland. “This will give us stability and provide us with the equipment that we need.”

Education and awareness also help in the fight against drugs. Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede noted she discovered that many services offered by agencies in Belmont County are being affected by drug use.

“The Belmont County Commissioners are trying to create an initiative against drug abuse in Belmont County and we are bringing together all the different entities that over the past year I have found that they are being affected by drug use,” said Favede.

Such comments reveal how damaging drug trafficking is, and reinforces the need to do all that is possible to minimize it.

McFarland and his task force has done masterful things while operating on a razor-thin budget. The $50,000 award from commissioners will definitely serve as a big boost to their efforts.

We commend the commissioners for their proactive move in helping the fight against drugs. We also tip our hat to Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak who was integral in locating ways to make the donation a reality.

Finally, we challenge the entire Belmont County community to support the drug task force in its endeavors, as it is making a positive difference in all our lives.