The regular appearance of drug-related arrests in Ketchikan Police Department and Alaska State Troopers reports reminds us that the demand for illicit substances such as heroin and methamphetamine continues in the Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island areas.
We’d like to think that remote island communities are less susceptible to drug trafficking, but discounting the power of addiction is a mistake. There’s a demand here, and where there’s demand, there are people willing to take big risks to profit from that demand.
Local law enforcement reports and court documents tell the tales of traffickers and their methods for moving drugs into and through our communities. Reading these probable-cause statements and other records provides a sad window into the great lengths that traffickers will go.
If there is an upside, it’s that each arrest and court case shows that our law enforcement officers and legal system are not standing idly by. Truly, we appreciate the difficult — and potentially dangerous — work being done to apprehend traffickers and bring them to justice. It is our hope that slowing the flow of drugs into Ketchikan and POW by effective law enforcement helps reduce some of the situations seen in other types of police and court statements. These cases represent the litany of woe that can result from addiction — crime, financial ruin and shattered families.
We also greatly appreciate the work of local nonprofits and other entities to help individuals struggling with addictions. We also lift up the family members and friends who persevere, who endure much, to stand by a loved one.
Our communities might not be large, but our people continue to be resourceful in working to mitigate the movements and effects of drugs. The continued arrests are discouraging in that they indicate a level of demand that’s unlikely to be eradicated. It’s only through multi-faceted, communitywide effort that we can stem the tide.