Drug Problem

There is no doubt that the drug problem has become more visible over the past few years. Sadly this issue is much larger than just the City of Manitowoc. Here are a few things we are doing to curb the drug issue and the successes we are having:

  1. Manitowoc County focuses on this issue in collaboration with each municipality. The drug issue isn’t just Manitowoc’s problem or Two Rivers’ problem. Drug deals don’t stop at the municipality line. Therefore, a collaborative effort is required. Manitowoc County Metro has 6.5 full-time officers dedicated to this issue, 2 from the City of Manitowoc, 1 from Two Rivers, and 3.5 from Manitowoc County.
  2. Manitowoc County takes a hard stance on this issue. My goal is to make Manitowoc known to all drug dealers as a place that they do not want to do business. Recently, drug overdoses have now been treated as reckless homicide and each death is investigated as to where the individual got their drugs from. Drug busts have seen much larger cash bail requirements (anywhere between $5,000 – $50,000), which drug dealers do not want to deal with. Our new District Attorney is also doing an excellent job of making this a priority and cracking down on it.
  3. The City of Manitowoc has 2 K-9 dogs that are trained to detect drugs. The K-9 unit has been broadly supported by the community and we now have $100,000 in the Lakeshore Community Foundation for this cause. This is not unusual as a vast majority of communities throughout the state fundraises for their K-9 units (which shows strong community support, good community policing and networking). The K-9’s also get into our schools to show our young kids that we take this issue seriously.
    1. In 2014: 14 Individuals and 58 Businesses contributed toward the K-9’s
    2. In 2015: 196 Individuals and 14 Businesses contributed toward the K-9’s
    3. In 2016: 353 Individuals and 70 Businesses contributed toward the K-9’s
    4. TOTAL TO DATE: 563 Individuals and 142 Businesses!
  4. The City of Manitowoc Police Department is a drug drop off location for any unneeded or unused drugs. 2016 will see the highest amount of drugs that were dropped off and the State of Wisconsin is #2 in total drop off’s, which shows us that people are well aware of the fact they can drop their unused drugs off and that we are making a good effort to get these drugs out of the hands of individuals who want them.
  5. In 2016 we received a Heroin Grant of $12,500 to specifically provide dollars for overtime to deal specifically with heroin related cases. We expect this same grant in 2017 and we also will receive a similar grant to deal with meth, which we are starting to see an increase of.
  6. Education is key. Our local law enforcement does an excellent job of getting out into the community, into school, and at events. You’ll see our K-9’s out everywhere and there’s a purpose for that. We are proactive.
    1. We also have the Citizens Academy that citizens can join to learn more about the Police Department and about this issue. I am a proud graduate of the Citizens Academy in 2010.
  7. We need to clean up our neighborhoods. One of our positives is that we have a low cost of living here. For drug dealers, that’s their positive also. We need to go after slum lords and we need to deal with blight, which I have budgeted $250,000 in 2017 to deal with.