By Angela McGill
The Alderson Police Department has been working hard to fight against drugs in the community. Officer Devin Johnson, a K9 handler with the department, speaks to the recent efforts of the police department and says that their aim for drugs is “to get it off the streets, go back to a regular civilian lifestyle so people aren’t seeing it, kids aren’t seeing it, and to get it out of everyday life.”
Officer Johnson explained how traffic stops assist with the control of drugs, as offenders are aware that law enforcement conducts these stops, and it makes it less likely for drugs to be transferred, brought into the city, or distributed.
“During a stop there was a guy carrying over a half of pound of marijuana and a large quantity of cash, you will also come across traffic stops where you will get a little bit of possession here and there,” he says.
Johnson explained that one of their main goals has been monitoring areas of high activity.
“We have done several search warrants over the last several months, due to working cases on houses after watching the flow, seeing who’s coming in and out, and where word is getting out. The people that are distributing and making a business of this, we will put a stop to it.”
When asked about his K9 companion, Gizmo, he says, “My K9 partner has been the rock of this organization thus far this year, without him a lot of this wouldn’t be possible. I like to keep in mind and want everyone to understand and gain knowledge that he is a tool, just as things I wear on my belt or keep on my vest. He’s a tool to be used just like a pistol, taser, and spray, he’s a tool for the work, and he’s been a big, big player in this organization this year,” as he turns to Gizmo and makes sure he knows that “he’s a good dog.”
Johnson also credits support from the town and community leaders as a part of the ongoing drug control process. “Mayor Copenhaver is very involved with the issue on the drugs, he is on board with putting it to a stop, he is on board with everything we do as far as cases we work on for the narcotics problems. He does not get in the way or attempt to get in the way of anything, he’s all for any idea we have, as long as we can back it, he will back us up,” Johnson said. “I just want to say thanks to the people who have supported me this far up to this point, without the people I would not have had the partners that I’ve had and without the department I would not have the team that we have.”