10/28/2013 Upper Darby police continue their investigation into two robberies in the vicinity of Lansdowne Avenue and State Road that took place at the CVS pharmacy and Swiss Farms. Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the accused. The video just released shows the accused is a white male, in his 20’s and about 5ft 7 inches. In the robberies, the accused wore a scarf around his face, a hat and hooded jacket. The Upper Darby Police Superintendent said of the robberies “We figure he’s a drug addict from the neighborhood and did both robberies.”
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, Delaware County Council Vice-Chairman Mario Civera and Mayor of Upper Darby Thomas Micozzie recently discussed the ever increasing use of illegal drugs by our youth in Upper Darby and Delaware County. Drugs, the word sends shivers down parents’ spines. Drugs, a broad based word that parents either believe won’t happen to their kids or an illicit word that has infiltrated their lives. Drugs, it can happen to any family at any time. It’s not just pot anymore. The incident of misused prescription drugs continues to rise and has now become the gateway to the insidious drug, Heroin. It’s not just found on skid row anymore. It’s a drug that is finding a home in many blue collar and white collar neighborhoods such as Upper Darby. The arrest recently of an Upper Darby sophomore with 70 packets of heroin on school property was a wake up call to many parents. Parents have to make a choice: bury their heads in the sand and say No Way my kid would ever do that or a parent could choose to educate themselves about the use of drugs by their own or other children who live in their very own neighborhood.
As Superintendent of the Upper Darby Police Department, Mr. Chitwood sees firsthand how drugs have infiltrated our own neighborhoods. In the 1970’s Mr. Chitwood worked for the Philadelphia Police force and worked to break up drug rings before their poison hit the streets to continue their plague on society. As Chitwood sees it, and did while working narcotics, drug dealers and users should be differentiated. Drug dealers are usually guilty of numerous other crimes and should have the book thrown at them. Meanwhile, the users need to be rehabilitated through step by step compulsory programs.” Drug addiction is no less an illness as alcoholism is, “Mr. Chitwood said.” Treatment needs to be an option for the user. Education must be given to parents, to educators and to the citizens of the community,” Mr. Chitwood also said.
Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie and Delaware County Vice Chairman Mario Civera are all too aware of the continued cycle of crime that is fueled by drug addiction. Mr. Civera said “it was our county Coroner who told us of the increased use of prescription drugs which are becoming a gateway to heroin use.” Studies show that residential supplies of pharmaceutical controlled substances – those found in home medicine cabinets – are the supplier of choice for young people and criminals. These medications are effective when used properly, but many are highly addictive and dangerous when abused. (Delaware County Heroin Task Force) Mr. Civera explained what Delaware County is doing to combat the illegal use of prescription drugs and heroin.
In September 2013, the Heroin Task Force received a grant from the Office of National Control Policy for $625,000 over a five year period to educate the public about the destructive and addictive nature of heroin and prescription drugs. A website was launched, presented educational programs for parents and students and will have a meeting tomorrow October 29, 2013 to bring concerned citizens together for the task force. Mr. Civera continued, “We are determined to protect our children, our families and our communities from the devastating effects of drug addiction.” The website can be found at www.co.delaware.pa.us and click on Heroin Task Force
This is the first of 3 articles that will include information regarding the efforts of Upper Darby Police, Upper Darby Council and Delaware County Council to curtail the use of illegal drugs. The articles will include educational information for parents and members of the community.