After a quick survey of drug related articles pertaining to Columbiana County, there are an astonishing number of investigations, indictments and arrests all being attributed to the expansion of the county drug task force (DTF), as well as other police drug units.
It has been well publicized that the county DTF has had several new additions to the force, including officers from the following communities: Wellsville, East Palestine, Leetonia, and Columbiana. Also, the emergence of several new canine units within the county has been made known to the public, specifically the Columbiana County Sheriff's Department.
With the rise in these specialized drug units, the county has seen a drastic increase in the number of drug related investigations, indictments and arrests. According to the county prosecutor's office, the number of drug crime indictments nearly doubled in 2013 and is only expected to increase. This correlation appears to be the direct result of the efforts made by county Prosecutor Robert Herron and county commissioners who have remained loyal advocates of the county DTF.
Herron has continued to fight for funding that is allocated by county commissioners. This funding program, which provides thousands of dollars to police departments that assign officers to the DTF, began in late 2012. This program is perhaps one of the county's greatest implementations on fighting the war on drugs, especially since most crimes within the county are related to drugs in some way. The effects of this program continue to be seen as a meth lab was recently raided in downtown Lisbon near the high school. It is accomplishments such as these that resonate positively within the county and should continue to be reported.
However, aside from normal publicity, the community should take it upon themselves to advertise this newly acquired strength. Advertisement works and has proven an effective deterrent for crime. Consider the advertisements on local gas pumps that state: "If you steal this (gasoline), then we're going to take this (driver's license)" or the "drive sober or get pulled over" and "stay alive, don't text and drive" slogans.
These serve as advertisements for legal purposes, attempting to instill adherence to the law by means of deterrence. According to billboardmart.com, Columbiana County has 134 billboards. This figure should be 135 by adding a new billboard advertising our improved efforts made by the county DTF and other local police departments. The time has come to not just expand the DTF, but also community awareness, especially to those individuals who feel as though the county is an ideal drug zone. The county's recent success in winning the battles and eventually this war on drugs deserves to be magnified through advertisement.