Tears flowed in council chambers in Hannibal City Hall Tuesday night after a new video was shown that featured local people whose family has been tragically touched by the impact of heroin. The video is a new tool being utilized by the H.E.E.T. Program, whose purpose is combat the use heroin.
Providing a program update was Police Chief Lyndell Davis, who explained the program involves enforcement, education and treatment.
While heroin abuse is not a problem that a community can arrest its way out of, Davis acknowledged that "enforcement is a big part of it, you can't get away from it."
The police chief reported that in 2016 felony drug arrests in Hannibal were up 30 percent from the year before while misdemeanor drug arrests were up 22 percent.
As for the program's educational aspect, the video shown Tuesday night was the second of its kind that has been produced for HPD. Davis said the initial video, which has been shown throughout Missouri and in Illinois, has been a "sensational success." Davis thanked the families who have been willing to share their stories of heroin-related loss.
As for treatment, Davis saluted the Fire Department's willingness to carry Narcan, an opiate antidote, on its first responder calls. He added that the Marion County Ambulance District also carries the heroin antidote.
Another H.E.E.T. initiative has been HPD's launching of a drug take-back program one year ago. In that time 315 pounds of medication has been taken in.
In other business:
• A request for a handful of budget amendments from Finance Director Karen Burditt was approved.
• Phyllis Nelson, city collector, was given permission to do budget adjustments for the end of the current fiscal year.
• Kellie Cookson asked questions regarding the Council's role in the wake of Proposition 1's passage. She also thanked the Council for having authorized the Jacobs Engineering's water system report.
• The Council gave final reading to a bill which revises city ordinances relating to the exhibition of dangerous weapons and the promoting of prostitution so that local statutes are in compliance with state statutes.
• Street closures were granted the Oakwood PTO's 5K run (April 22), Hannibal school district's Pirate Pride 5K (May 13), Historic Hannibal Marketing Council's Twain on Main (May 26-28) and Finn's Food & Spirits' Crawfish Boil/Bike Night (June 17).
Reach reporter Danny Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org