YUMA, Ariz- A meeting was held at City Hall this afternoon as part of the United For Yuma Anti-meth Yuma Campaign, under Mayor Nicholls initiative.
Local business leaders were invited to attend and give their input and ask questions about any concerns they may have and how they can better educate their employees on this campaign.
Some people may be wondering….do we even have a meth problem in Yuma? The answer is yes. And over the years it’s becoming more and more common around the Desert Southwest.
Jeff Oates, AmeriCorps Vista, who’s contracted with YPD and City of Yuma said, “Unless you’re part of that scene it’s not well known and that’s part of the campaign is that to educate the public. There’s a problem and Yuma is not a terrible place to live its not crazy with meth everywhere but it is a problem.”
Oates said the drug has become more available, higher quality and it’s much cheaper to buy being so close to the border.
He adds, “It’s easier for that to come across rather than people to cook it in their backyard. Typically they’re high when they commit the crime. Or, they’re then stealing to then sell it and buy more drugs.”
Authorities say being on drugs is just as worse as any other crime.
Oates said, “Well they’re all related. I mean you know when you look at property crime…a lot of it is drug related.”
Adding that the community has dealt with meth pretty often within the year of 2014-2015.
Oates adds, “I want to say April through may of 2015, there are 143 meth related arrests with the patrol unit of the Yuma Police Department.”
Those numbers have increased substantially from the prior years which concerns a lot of community leaders.
In this afternoons meeting Joe Franklin with YPD also took questions and answered anything the business leaders might be concerned about with the meth problem in your backyard.
Oates said, “We hope to not only have their support but also the businesses of Yuma could help us out in addressing this problem.”