PITTSBORO — It’s said that the first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging it. That’s just what residents of Pittsboro have done after attending Thursday night’s Substance Abuse Awareness Meeting, which was put on by the Pittsboro Police Department.
The meeting took place at the Pittsboro Primary School, 540 Osborne Ave., and provided information about local trends regarding drugs and testimonies from people affected by drug use. Due to the amount of people who registered to attend, the meeting had to be moved from the town hall.
To start the meeting, Pittsboro Police Chief Christi Patterson gave those in attendance some statistics.
“Typically, the Pittsboro Police Department probably makes between 40 and 45 arrests a year,” she said. “This year we’re up to over 60. Also we used to never have burglaries in town, (but) about two or three years ago we started having two to three a year. We would solve them and every single suspect was an admitted drug addict feeding their addiction. They were either friends or family of the victim.”
She said this year, there have been even more burglaries in town.
“We’ve actually had 12 burglary theft arrests, so far this year,” Patterson said. “Ten out of the 12 were admitted drug addicts, mostly on heroin.”
For the county this year, she said there have been 16 armed robberies.
“Out of the 16, the main reason the defendant gave was a heroin addiction,” Patterson said. “(The county has) also prosecuted 40 burglaries this year and again the main reason that was given is drug addiction.”
Despite the startling statistics, Patterson said she feels the community can come together to defeat the problem.
“I’m very proud to be part of this community,” she said. “We’re a strong community, we’re a caring community, and I think we can come together as a community and help fight this problem.”