Manistee and state police have stepped up patrols after a drug-related shooting happened in June.
Following the shooting state and local police teamed up to curb the city’s ongoing drug problem. From July 18 through 21 and on Aug. 2, police made 122 drug-related traffic stops and 25 arrests.
Lt. Derrick Carroll with the Michigan State Police said the problem “is not going away. We have a lot of programs out there meant to help people struggling with addiction. But methamphetamine, heroin, other drugs still continue to be prevalent in Northern Michigan.”
A local group called ECHO that is designed at helping homeless people and those struggling with addiction say they’ve seen a rise in people seeking their service since the pandemic.
Shari O’Neal, the Resource Center Director at ECHO began working in Manistee for 10 years, said at first it was “very rare” that they had someone come in that was suffering from substance abuse.
“But in the last couple of years it’s been increasing,” O’Neal explained.
With the growing drug problem, ECHO has started a new community program called the homeless awareness resource coalition. The program will not only provide a day shelter for the homeless, but also provide local resources for people struggling with mental health and substance abuse.
“We want to make sure that if you’re having a drug problem there is help, there is a place to turn,” ECHO’s Family Service Director Jeff Carter said.
Along with heightened patrols and a new community program Michigan State Police say residents can help too. They ask if you know anything to leave an anonymous tip with silent observer.
“It’s Northern Michigan, we’ve been fighting these drug problems for a long time and with the help of everyone out there we hope that we can tackle this and make this a safer community,” Lt. Carroll stated.