‘Meth is county’s top law enforcement concern’ — Boyer

While Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer believes the battle against methamphetamines is his department’s No. 1 law enforcement priority, he understands the drug’s temptation and addictive qualities.

“Imagine the most incredible experience of your life,” he said, “and it doesn’t cost very much. And under the influence, you feel great, and do all kinds of things like clean the house, wash the car, get your digital pictures in order. It’s a feeling like no other.

“But then you crash,” Boyer said. “But by that time, you’re addicted.”

Boyer on Friday kicked off a series of new community forums, sponsored by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce and held at the Baja Outpost restaurant on Bethel Road in Port Orchard.

Boyer said he has witnessed a variety of meth experiences, such as addicted parents who take turns getting high while one of them takes care of the kids.

Such situations collapse quickly. This causes a further breakdown, because the best way to prevent the drug’s spread is through parental intervention.

If the parents are themselves addicted, the kids are left on their own.

Boyer also warned about dextra metorphan, the next drug health hazard. A synthesis of the active element in cough medicine, this could become as insidious a problem as meth. He hopes awareness of the dangers (one case led to a particularly grisly murder-suicide) can slow the trend.

“If we recognize the problem we can find a way to solve it,” Boyer said. “By getting it out in the open and having frank discussions, we can make people aware of the damage. We’ve solved a number of problems this same way. We may not always agree about the course of action, but by discussing the situations we will find solutions.”

The forum was attended by 26th District Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor), District Judge Marilyn Paja and other officials. Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel agreed with Boyer’s assessment, saying, “We need to be talking about this. It’s a big issue, and meth isn’t just a recreational drug.”

Boyer peppered his talk with digressions and anecdotes, jumping between the serious and irreverent — often in the same sentence. He noted that police officer “is one of the only occupations where people are actively trying to kill you,” but he followed this up by characterizing an arrest situation as “habeous grab-us.” 

The community forums will continue each Friday morning through November. The 7:30 breakfast is preceded by a half hour “networking session.”

No reservation is required and breakfast costs $10.

For more information, call (360) 876-3505. This Friday’s forum will address Initiatives 330 and 336.

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