It is cool that the Coast News ran a feature on heroin use in Encinitas. It finally puts some light on an issue that has been festering. For years, heroin dealers have openly taken up shop in the downtown/moonlight beach area. Merchants know about it, surfers know about it, high school students know about it and tourists could figure it out.
Even with the easy access to the drug, there is no rampant heroin epidemic in Encinitas among our youth. One percent of local high school students report lifetime use of heroin (5% at Sunset H.S.).
From The Coast News article:
Joan and Tim Smith are baffled as to how their child’s former dealer, among others, can still sell drugs openly in the D Street corridor of Encinitas...
Detective Johnson said because the Encinitas station only has two detectives for their department’s jurisdiction — which encompasses Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Rancho Santa Fe — he and his partner are sometimes restricted to how quickly they can respond to citizens’ reports.
“We have limited time and ability to take care of things as fast as people want,” Johnson said. “If it was in my backyard, I’d want it done tomorrow, but it doesn’t work that way in our job. There are too many legal hoops we have to go through.”
I’ve heard the sheriffs have stepped up patrols, and my observations seem to indicate that things have cleaned up. I hadn’t realized that the dealers still have a presence.
Our town is becoming more urbanized and our town is less and less dominated by young college educated families with two kids and a dog. We are also increasing our population size and density. I’d like to see the City of Encinitas review and update its law enforcement policies so that we always have more than enough law enforcement officers to saturate any problems when they begin to arise and not after they get established.