MILTON — A concerned citizen is speaking up on the issue of drug use inMilton. Resident Raymond Johns addressed the council saying the city is in dire need of a drug task force.
"When people are dying and you didn’t have one you will wish you had," Johns said. "You all need to be working with [police chief] Tindell on getting one."
Johns said with the current state of the police department it would not take much for the drug issue to get out of control. He said new gangs are moving in everyday. He works with the police department everyday to try to get this issue solved, he said."I’m trying to give you the warning before the storm," Johns said.
Councilwoman Sharon Holley thanked Johns for coming and gave her support of the Milton Police Department.
"I believe there is not a person in this room who doesn’t support our police department," Holley said."
Holley asked if Johns had ever gone to the MPD and sat down with them to outline the areas of concern.
Johns said he knew where the drug problems were, saying a drug house was outside his own home. Johns said he speaks with Tindell at least once a week.
Councilwoman Mary Ellen Johnson said she agrees Milton needs a drug task force but believes that the city needs to increase education to help deter the problem. She said the problem needs to be addressed at home and is not just limited to Milton.
"This is a universal problem."
Mayor Wesley Meiss said such a task force did exist between the city and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office but dissolved due to funding. Tindell said he was in conversation with SRSO and the Gulf Breeze Police Department to reinstate the drug task force.
The council moved the issue of the drug task force and drug awareness education to the committee of the whole meeting at 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at city hall.