City leaders call for facing up to drug epidemic in Kettering


KETTERING, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- It's an escalating drug epidemic gripping the community.

That's how city leaders in Kettering describe the heroin and opioid problem.

They're fighting back, joining forces with county agencies to put out a strong message.

They made a video hoping it wll make a difference.

Those leaders said what's going on in Kettering is alarmng and they want to get the word out.

They posted the video on social media this week.

The powerful video is called "Kettering: Facing the epidemic."

"I put heroin before my family i put heroin before my children," said a woman in the video.

It's a straight forward video on kettering's Facebook page that drives home a powerful message.

"The opiod and heroin epidemic isn't just something we hear about happening around the country, it's here, it's real," said Kettering Mayor Don Patterson

"We have a community now that is seeking greater degree of drugs for the ultimate hig, h unfortunately a number of them are dying from it," said Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab Director Ken Betz.

Kettering has 18 overdose deaths so far this year.

Last year there were 18 total.

"That's insane and it's only July. We've got another whole half a year left andI 'm sure it's going to double. and thatt's very sad," said Kettering Resident Ann Williams.

"I never thought any of this would happen to me," said a woman in the video.

During the 42 minute video you hear from addicts. and city leaders.

"It is not unusual for our crews to answer these overdose calls day in and day out," said Kettering Fire Department Chief Tom Butts.

"The Kettering Police Department has seen massive increase in drug overdoses and drug arrests and a lot of that stems from the heroin epidemic," said Kettering Police Chief Chip Protsman.

City leaders said the video is to educate people here in Kettering because the epidemic is in their city and their neighborhoods

"The heroin epidemic is everywhere, it's not just in the city of Dayton, it's Kettering Centerville it's all in the neighborhoods and nice neighborhoods," said Williams.

County, city and school leaders said they're committed to fighting the drug problem.

"It's a community issue it's something as we're doing today, were talking about it, we're not hdiing the fact we're trrying to proactive and come out and say the numbers are staggering," said Betz.

To combat the drug epidemic,. the police department has added four people on its vice unit and an additional K-9.

Officers are also working with social agencies to get addicts into treatment.

The school district added a resource officer at the high school.

City leaders said long term treatment and education will also help.

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