MOUNT VERNON — The program for the fifth Town Hall meeting on the opiate epidemic has expanded, according to Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.
The program will be on the costs associated with the growing problem. The meeting will be from 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, in the Mount Vernon High School theater.
Mavis said cost estimates have not been available for all the agencies that have a role in the issue, but presentations will be made on EMS costs, law enforcement costs, judicial/probation costs and treatment/rehab costs.
The EMS discussion will be led by Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher and Fredericktown EMS Chief Rick Lanuzza.
The law enforcement discussion will be led by Mount Vernon Police Capt. Scott McKnight and Knox County Sheriff Dave Shaffer.
Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel and Municipal Court Judge John Thatcher have collaborated on the costs to the judicial system, with Common Pleas Probation Officer Josh Gutridge and Municipal Court Probation Officer Julie Fisher talking about those programs. Two additional speakers have been added to this portion of the presentation.
Matthew Kurtz, director of Job and Family Services, and Scott Boone, Childen’s Services administrator, will be making a brief, 5-10 minute presentation about the effects that drugs have on the children in our community.
Knox Community Hospital Public Relations Director Jeffrey Scott, Freedom Center Executive Director Jeff Williams and Knox Substance Abuse Action Team member Ashley Phillips will lead the discussion about the growing costs for treatment and rehabilitation.
The evening will also feature a short public appearance by the newest member of the police force, the Belgian Malinois Leia. She will not be a regular member of the force until she and her handler, Officer Sarah Wheeler, complete their current training course at Storm Dogs.