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Franklin focusing on anti-heroin effort

November 17, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Thirteen of 22 Franklin County municipalities have committed to funding a fight against heroin trafficking, according to Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom.

Krom and District Attorney John F. Nelson presented the heroin initiative proposal to the Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 21, asking for $30,000 from the county and collectively from the municipalities to investigate heroin cases. The commissioners endorsed the plan, which essentially would replace the county Drug Task Force established in 1987.

Krom said Monday that $21,870 from 13 boroughs and townships had been committed. Amounts, based on population, range from $4,050 from Chambersburg and $2,970 from Greene Township to $90 from Warren Township.

The $60,000 from county and local governments would be matched by a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and $48,800 from the state Attorney General's Office, bringing total funding to $158,800, Krom said.

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If all the expected funding comes through, Krom said the District Attorney's Office would be able to hire two county detectives to investigate heroin and other drug activity.

"The current push will be on heroin ... but we will continue to investigate other drugs," she said.

The drug task force now has one full-time detective from the Chambersburg Police Department. The borough pays a third of his salary, with Greene, Guilford, St. Thomas and Hamilton townships paying the balance, Krom said.

The number of people being referred to Franklin County Drug and Alcohol for heroin addiction skyrocketed from three in 1996-97 to 51 in 1998-99, according to county records.

During 1997-98 one of the 49 people treated remained drug-free, but two others died of heroin overdoses, records state.

Nelson said last month the numbers from county drug and alcohol do not reflect those who have sought treatment from private drug treatment centers.

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