New Police Chief Renews Drug Crackdown in Corsicana

The war on drugs is not a new idea, but it's getting fresh attention in one North Texas city.

Corsicana's new police chief, Robert Johnson, is making the fight against drugs a top priority.

"I'm not scared to hit that issue," Johnson said. "I'm a former narcotics officer who is from here."

Johnson said looking at other crime statistics in the city, like burglaries, he noticed something.

"What is the one common denominator that I see over and over and over again?" Johnson asked. "Drugs."

Johnson said of the 241 drugs busts made in Corsicana so far this year, more than 100 of them are for so-called "hard drugs" like cocaine, heroin and meth.

"I've seen what it does to families," Johnson said.

That's why he posted a public message on Facebook last month. It read like more of a warning. "We have no problem seizing property if you are dealing drugs in our community," the post read, in part.

Johnson hired more officers and got a drug sniffing K-9 unit. He says in the first six months of this year, drug arrests are up 91 percent, and those burglaries he found so alarming are down 20 percent over this time last year. The busts are posted on Facebook, too.

"By doing that, I think it gives them the message, if you're thinking about doing this, don't," Johnson said. "Because look how successfully they are catching people."

"It's going to take more than police," said Eric Coaster, who runs a street corner family barbecue business.

He says it will take the community helping itself to tackle the drug issue.

"It's not a black, white, yellow or red thing. It's a togetherness family thing," Coaster said.

Johnson says his goal is not to arrest as many people as possible, but to make people think twice about doing or dealing drugs in Corsicana.

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