Drug abuse concerns in an area city

City of Morgantown image.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Recent concerns of open drug abuse in Morgantown appears to be in need of a multi-faced approach.

That’s according to Morgantown Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble who was one of a few members of Morgantown City Council who are openly expressing the need to address reports of open drug use, particularly in Downtown Morgantown. This comes after weeks of complaints by Morgantown residents who are reporting questionable behavior ranging from public intoxication to indecent exposure to go along with used needles and other signs of open drug use in the area.

“In the last six to eight weeks, there has been a vast change in a lot of the folks that are hanging out downtown,” said Trumble.

Law enforcement is expected to be a major influence in tackling Downtown Morgantown concerns. On WAJR’s Talk of the Town, Trumble mentions the Mon Metro Drug Task Force and their efforts in the seizure of tens of thousands of dollars of street drugs as well as communications with city officials with Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell. The inter-city meetings, according to Trumble, are taking place this week and are intended to help set enforcement plans in motion despite having a Morgantown police force that’s twenty officers below normal.

“We’ve asked him (Chief Powell) to talk to his officers and come back to us with ideas on what we can be better doing to support them,” said Trumble. “Taking that stronger enforcement stance with some of these issues,” she said.

While law enforcement is expected to be a major contributer, Trumble also mentions the need for continued support for social services in the Morgantown Area. This includes the recent opening of Hazel’s House of Hope which brings four different social services into a single facility as well as a sobering center for anyone found publicly intoxicated. With expanded resources in the Morgantown area, Trumble states that the focus can continue to lean torwards enforcement to address Downtown Morgantown’s growing problem.

“One of the biggest problems faced in this state, is the lack of rehab beds available,” Trumble said. “And when those things are kind of handled, it comes down to a stronger enforcement issue with the police department and our downtown,” she said.