Grant Aids Offset Standard PD’s Elevated Concentrate On Gun Violence

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Gun violence has impacted law enforcement efforts to investigate other matters in Bloomington-Standard, such as underage substance use. That is according to a substance abuse prevention system which has secured a federal grant to minimize underage consumption.

Chestnut Wellness Systems of Bloomington announced on Wednesday it received $1.five million from the U.S. Division of Wellness and Human Solutions to enable curb underage alcohol and marijuana use in Bloomington-Standard.

Some of that dollars will go to the Standard Police Division. Project Director Liz Hamilton is overseeing the grant for Chestnut. She mentioned she’s concerned efforts to additional minimize underage consumption are threatened by officers needing to divert time on gun violence situations.

“Obviously addressing gun violence is really vital, having said that we also know that substance use is shown to be straight connected with juvenile crime,” Hamilton explained. “When our enforcement is charged with redirecting their efforts toward gun violence and they are not in a position to direct efforts to underage substance use, then we are not in a position to get that constant message out to individuals that right here are the guidelines and right here are the consequences.”

Standard Police Chief Rick Bleichner mentioned the department’s concentrate largely hasn’t changed.

“We have the sources to address each challenges,” Bleichner declared. “However, when you are searching at tax dollars a lot of instances for overtime possibilities, if you have a decision you are undoubtedly going to use these for the extra really serious-sort offenses.”

Bleichner mentioned the police division nevertheless conducts as a lot of alcohol enforcement particulars as it really is performed in the previous, but there are instances when an officer’s time gets diverted, thereby limiting routine patrols.

“If you have your concentrate shifted to an additional location, then some of these unintentional-sort contacts that outcome in possibly arrests of ordinance violations for cannabis or (underage) alcohol (possession) are not occurring on that level,” Bleichner mentioned.

Standard PD will be having practically $27,000 per year more than the 5 years of the grant to spend officers’ overtime for alcohol enforcement.

Bleichner mentioned the division has noticed a gradual decline in underage drinking violations, even though underage possession for marijuana has been on the rise.

The division reports citations for cannabis possession rose 63% (241 to 392) from 2016 to 2018.

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