Pelham executes agreement to combat county drug problem

Published 11:03 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Although the Pelham Police Department already plays a role with the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, the city voted to execute a COMPACT 2020 agreement with Shelby County and surrounding municipalities to extend its efforts against drug use.

3-16 COMPACT 2020

“This is just a new and creative way to help combat our drug problem in our county, which is really an ever-growing problem,” said Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer. “It’s getting really serious. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it yet. I think it is still going to continue to worsen.”

Palmer said he met with Pelham Mayor Gary Waters to discuss this agreement, along with other officials in the county. He added that this agreement is a way to think outside the box.

Many ideas related to combating the drug problem have been discussed, he said, and they are excited to be a part of the COMPACT 2020 agreement.

“What’s really exciting about this is the way we will gather and compile and disseminate the drug intelligence,” Palmer said.

In addition to the enforcement portion of the new COMPACT 2020, there are also going to be compliance and counseling portions, according to Palmer.

Leaders in the community, SROs in schools, officers and more will be involved to make this program beneficial for Shelby County. The drug courts will also play a role in the program, Palmer said.

‘Those people that need the enforcement action, that will be taken,” he said. “People who we can help, maybe bring back and get on the right path, we’ll counsel. We’ll use business leaders, leaders in the community, to mentor.”

Everyone in the community will play a part in this new agreement, he said, which is one of the things he said he is most excited about.

The Pelham City Council unanimously voted to execute the agreement at its March 7 meeting.

“We as a community will come together to try to work on our drug problem,” Palmer said. “So we are real excited and real favorable about that.”