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Dave Eggers Seeks More Awareness for Drug Abuse

What is the biggest public safety concern for Dunedin residents? Mayoral candidates answer how they'll go about solving it, if elected this fall.

This week, we asked the candidates:

  • What do you think is the biggest public safety concern for Dunedin residents, and how do you plan to address it, if you are elected? 

Dave Eggers responds:

Public Safety is the major focus and responsibility of every elected official, every staff person and every teacher and parent in our City. We have equipped ourselves with the best fire department, a professional Sheriff’s Department, while being augmented by our DIVERT volunteers, our staff and our Public Safety and Social Services Committee. Safety concerns range from storm surge problems, fire and EMS response times and coverage, home invasions, to child safety, to senior protection, to domestic violence, to public utility protection and to traffic control and all have our attention. One growing area of concern is the onslaught of legal drug abuse, the devastation to families and the underlying criminal activity emanating from this growing industry.

When there is an overdose, our fire department is equipped with the highest quality response there is available and have done so with incredible professionalism. Having a new fire station moved up onto Michigan will improve response times even more. The abuse of legalized drugs seems more prevalent and according to the Sheriff’s office, it affects all ages as we unknowingly become addicted. As a community we can bring more attention to this problem of addiction, and on how accessing those drugs can occur by others looking for “recreational” abuse. There are countless sad stories in our community of how family members became addicted and even sadder how the ensuing collateral damage made things worse for the family and community.

The criminal activity around legal drug abuse includes home invasion either looking for product or money to further their new recreational addiction or looking to raise money to help buy and sell as a dealer. Having our homes invaded, our cars burglarized or our neighborhood intimidated begins to erode the well being of our homes, our city blocks and eventually our neighborhoods. Those very neighborhoods, safety personnel and city officials working together can begin to rebuild a community affected by criminal activity.

In essence the legal drug abuse is destroying individual lives, family units and neighborhood safety creating a crisis for all of us. Creating more and more awareness of this addiction process is critical if we are to keep any of our family members from becoming addicted in the first place. Our Social Services Committee has created a “211” directory of contacts for our residents, and this committee could further help educate families of this “silent” drug problem that is happening in many of our homes.

I think we need to continue reaching out with our Sheriff’s Department to create more neighborhood awareness and more neighborhood watches. That activity coupled with the Sheriff’s “just lock your car and home doors” campaign can do a lot to deter crime. In short, legalized drugs are destroying lives and family units and creating more criminal activity to support the behavior. More education and more deterrent techniques from our own committees partnering with the Sheriff and fire department can go along way to helping awareness of a major growing problem in our communities.

See also, Bob Hackworth's reponse.

Related Coverage: 

  • Patch Podium: Dave Eggers on Spurring Development
  • Dave Eggers on the Patch Podium: Quality of Life
  • Dave Eggers on the Patch Podium: Experience
Melissa October 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I am not clear if the "legalized" drugs being referenced are the "bath salts" or actual prescribed drugs. I hope people realize the possible unintended consequences of their good intentions. People who really need and could not function in life without these drugs may not be able to get them without jumping through a lot of hoops and paperwork. Something these people just don't need in addition to trying to live their lives in constant pain. There is a fine middle line. I know my aging mother with vertabrae and discs smashing against with other, with bones too thin and brittle to operate on, doesn't need any more hassle trying to get the drugs that allow her to live what is left of her life in a way where her pain is at least manageable. Not pain free, but it allows her to at least move and enjoy some quality of life.
Cecilia October 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM
In my opinion our community is equipped with the knowledge that there is a serious problem with legal as well as illegal drugs/drug abuse/addiction. What our community needs a concrete solution for battling them that begins in the home. How does the sitting Mayor proopse to do that?
Lori October 16, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Dealers and addicts are smarter than the LEO...Gonna take alot more than lip service to fix this one....
Julie Ward Bujalski October 17, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Lori - Could you email me your contact info so we can meet? Thanks, Julie (Jbujalski@Dunedinfl.net)
-Ed Harris- October 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I'm sorry but Prescription Drug abuse is by far NOT the great stumbling block of Dunedin. Aside from poor planning of various dangerous intersections, lights and such, the Southside of Dunedin is our downfall. While we have planted trees and altered Douglas Ave downtown (to the point we tore up what we altered right after putting it down on Douglas from Main to Grant/Monroe) we have left our Southside behind! Sorry, but working on a Storm Drain that has been repeatedly worked on for 25 years does not qualify as fixing up the Southside. These people are being thrown under the bus daily. I do my best to do as much Pro-Bono work on the Southside as I can but putting in a free water heater is not going to cut it. We need a collective effort from everyone spearheaded by the City to restore our Southside. That means street lights, paved roads, fixing curbs, money for small business on Union and Patricia to fix up their places. Code enforcement for landlords who have become slumlords. What good does it do to fix up the downtown if everyone approaching our town from the south drives through what has become a ghetto. The crime in this area is not fed by prescription drug abuse but is a direct cause of what happens when you leave a segment of your city behind.

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