Williamsport residents applaud drug raid

March 14, 1998


Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Many Williamsport residents say they were happy to hear about the drug raid conducted by police Thursday night.

"It's good they're doing something to clean things up. A lot of it goes on around town," said Bonnie Chaney.

On Thursday night, 30 officers from several agencies conducted a drug raid in Williamsport. They hit seven homes in a three-block area and arrested seven adults and four juveniles, one of them only 11 years old.

On Friday, the raid was the talk of the town.

Few who stopped to talk about it were surprised.

"Basically, we're happy they're making an attempt to clean things up," said Sue Slick, clerk/manager at Wolf's in the Square. Residents have "an awareness" that there is a drug problem in town, she said.


Slick said the fact kids were being exposed to drugs, and using them, was "disheartening" to her. "Sometimes kids come in and you can smell marijuana on them," she said. "On somebody young like that ... it bothers you."

"That there was drug trade was kind of a surprise," she added.

Emma Divelbiss said it was about time there was a drug raid.

"It should have happened before this," she said. "I think anybody that has anything to do with it, they ought to get them. I don't believe in that stuff. I'm old school."

A 69-year-old resident who asked not to be identified said he thought there was a drug problem in Williamsport.

"It's about time they do something," he said.

Chaney said drug dealers "deserve what they get."

"I think there's a lot more than what (suspects) they got. It's been going on for a long time. There are a lot of young kids out and about at night here. It's a shame to see them get in trouble," she said.

Tina Rafter is a life-long Williamsport resident.

"I'm glad they did it. I want the dope off the streets," she said. "It's about time. It's really about time they did something. I knew a year ago that this stuff was going on."

The youngest person interviewed, 19-year-old Jamie Kennedy, was the only one who was surprised by the raid. He said he was riding around town when he saw the police raid in progress.

"They were going to certain houses. They were pulling 'em out left and right," Kennedy said. He said he didn't think there was a bad drug problem in town.

Assistant Mayor Jimmy Black said Williamsport was no different than other similar towns in the country. All have drug problems, he said.

"My views on it are that no matter where you live today, this problem exists," he said.

"We're just very grateful to the Washington County Sheriff's Department and the Narcotics Task Force for their investigation and the followup with arrests. We're very privileged to have the police forces to take care of it," Black said.

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