'Disappointed' at Bel Air police chief's comments on countywide anti-heroin efforts [Letter]

The Aegis

Editor:

In last Friday’s online edition of the Aegis, I felt the reporters did a commendable job covering our County’s (mostly) collective effort in combating the heroin epidemic that has taken so many lives and continues to challenge those who suffer from addiction. I understand the entire article actually ran over the last two print copies of the paper. I commend The Aegis for the continued attention they have put on fighting opioid addiction. Fighting for our citizens is a team effort and the Aegis has proven to be a strong member of the team.

Overall, I was pleased with the articles, however, there were a few points that struck a note of disbelief. The most disappointing was a specific quote that I feel sells short the efforts of so many in our county in what has been done and what is being done to save lives. Chief Charles Moore of the Bel Air Police Department, in announcing a new effort that the Town of Bel Air plans to implement (for town residents only), is credited with saying, “There are lots of meetings, lots of plans, lots of talking, but nothing is being done to provide help now.”

Whether stated with the intent of how concisely it is offered — or just a very poor choice of words, this statement could not be more incorrect. So many men and women have given countless hours, so many of whom are volunteers in this effort, to taking action and providing help in so many forms. Many of these efforts are described elsewhere in the articles and to be sure, these efforts are countywide, inclusive of the citizens who reside in the Town of Bel Air. These are efforts planned at many meetings, involving a lot of productive conversation, which has led to action steps at many turns. It is important to note that at the majority of all these meetings, the absence of the Bel Air Police Chief is a constant.

Accordingly, I question the intent of the statement and to add insult to injury, even after seeing the article in print, Chief Moore did nothing to clarify his comments, but rather used taxpayer money to sponsor a Facebook ad to promote the article (a first for the Police Department I believe). To be sure, I am disappointed in anything that sells short the efforts of so many in this fight to save lives and would hope for more thoughtful comments from a police leader.

Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler

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