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Posted on: June 4, 2018

Mayor’s Message June 2018 City Newsletter

Over the last several years, I have always tried to use this letter as an opportunity to inform you of the positive things we have happening in our community. There are many things to be pleased with. However, as leaders, our responsibility is also to perform as a sentinel. Someone to “stand at the gate” and sound the alarm of coming danger. There is no easy way to put this, so I will simply say it. Pella has a drug problem. For all of the positive things we have going for us, there are also underlying dangers. We have great employers, lots of job opportunities, and generally comfortable incomes for many. This creates an opportunity for adults and our youth to make poor decisions when it comes to drugs. Unfortunately, they are readily available to anyone who has the desire and money to find them. You do not need to simply take my word for it. In 2014, there were 8 juvenile arrests for drugs or alcohol in Pella. By 2017, that number had risen to 33. That is an increase of over 300% in just three years and 2018 is starting out with even bigger numbers. So far there have been 15 juvenile drug arrests in just the first three months. At that rate, it will be an additional increase of 36% in just one year. The types and strength of the drugs are just as alarming. A few years ago, the typical arrest was for underage alcohol or marijuana. Now we are seeing hydrocodone, oxycodone, methamphetamine, MDMA also called ecstasy, and the very highly addictive and dangerous fentanyl. Even the strength of marijuana has increased over time. The drug component (THC) has increased up to 650% since the 60’s and 70’s. What can we do? If you see something, say something. Find a police officer and tell them your concerns. Find a school administrator or teacher, tell a friend, tell your parent, tell anyone that may be able to help. People are dying all across the US due to drug abuse, and that includes Pella, Iowa. If we do not work hard to solve this problem, it will only get worse. Our goal is NOT to get more people into trouble, our goal is to SAVE LIVES! Please do your part to keep this a safe and welcoming community. – Mayor Jim

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