A community meeting will take place tonight, Nov. 1, in Mound to discuss how heroin is affecting communities around Lake Minnetonka.
The mayors of Orono, Spring Park and Mound will be joined by area police chiefs, Westonka Superintendent Kevin Borg, recovery professionals and other community leaders to discuss with residents the current trends in drug abuse and what parents need to know.
The Orono Police Department issued a statement back in August attributing a rise in residential burglaries to an surge in heroin use in both the Metro area and locally. Sheriffs in Hennepin and Anoka counties have also said heroin has replaced meth and prescription pain medication as the drug of choice among addicts and recreational users alike.
In Hennepin County, Sheriff Richard Stanek said 21 people died in heroin-related deaths last year—twice the number from 2009 and four times as many as 2008.
Carol Falkowski, a retired drug abuse strategy officer from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will be the keynote speaker at tonight's community meeting in Mound. Topics slated for discussion include reasons behind the increas in heroin abuse, how parents can tell if their child is using and what is being done to decrease use in the community.
Tim Sonnek, an Orono police officer and member of the West Metro Drug Task Force, will give an update on heroin use in the area, and Superintendent Borg and Orono Police Chief Corey Farniok will discuss local prevention and awareness.
Jami Wittke and Pat Cummings, school resource officers based in Mound and Minnetrista, respectively, will attend the meeting, and a Q&A session is also planned.
The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Gillespie Center in Mound, located at 2590 Commerce Boulevard.
Sponsors of the community meeting are the Mound Crime Prevention Association, the cities of Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrist, Orono, Mound and Spring Park and the Westonka and Orono School Districts.