CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County police agencies are getting together to battle heroin, the latest favorite illegal drug in many parts of the Mountain State.

The county has announced the HEAT effort, Heroin Eradication Associated Taskforce, that will initially be financed by $250,000 from the county’s Public Safety Grant.

Kanawha County Sheriff John Rutherford said the money will be used to pay officers overtime and to finance undercover buys.

“Heroin has taken over as the drug of choice,” Rutherford said. “This effort will put every local police department and the sheriff’s department together with funding to go out and fight this problem we have in the county.”

Other parts of West Virginia, particularly the northern panhandle, have reported problems with heroin. Sheriff Rutherford said meth and prescription drugs are still problems but they are getting more calls about heroin. The Kanawha County Ambulance Authority is responding to approximately two calls a week for heroin overdose.

“You don’t know how potent it is. You don’t know what has tainted the drug,” Sheriff Rutherford said. “It’s a life or death situation.”

HEAT is made up of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, county prosecutor’s office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, the ambulance authority and police departments in Kanawha County municipalities.

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  • Picklebee

    When arrested, just tell the judge you are the brother of the governor of West Virginia.
    Home free!

  • Fred

    The good old 'overtime' grant is just another way for cops to pay themselves time-and-a-half for doing the job they were supposed to be doing in the first place.

  • JimNCharleston

    Legalize all drugs. This country has wasted over $1 TRILLION DOLLAR$ in the "War on Drugs". DRUGS have won.

    Next to Sex, they're undefeated. Legalize them all & sit back and watch thoose who still don't know they're bad, find out. Cigarettes are worse and no one is banning them. They even cause cancer.

    And don't spend another $0.01 in a failing War.

    All I got
    I'm Jim N GA

  • Molon Labe


    Front and center as always.


    Richard Branson ( billionaire ) said it best,,, if the drug enforcement people worked for him he would FIRE them all for their inability to due their job and the disillusion of stopping drug use. He also goes on to say the incarcerating offenders does nothing to curb drug use but increases drug use cause convicted offenders are unable to obtain a decent job after full filling their sentences. The thing to do is dismantal these agencies, take their budgets put them into projects that will help rebuild our infrastructure such as water/sewer/electric power that pay a decent wage which these jobs produce more jobs.
    These monies being distributed don't produce ONE job. They go towards giving raises to those who try to justify their own job. Remember when alcohol was outlawed, it was a dismal failure and the repeal of Valstead Act was due to reduce the violence/deaths associated with the illegal distribution of alcohol. Now we are faced with the violence of drug distribution. As Richard Brandon suggested, legalize drugs. If it saves one life, then it was worth it. Legalization takes the violence out of the equation and produces taxes instead of spending moneys for government agencies that actually contributes to violence and death. Drugs will always be around, been around since before Biblical times.

    Wake up America, THINK, SPEAK UP and tell these governmental agencies "YOU'RE FIRED". Then take their billions of dollars and put out for bid to repair our roads, water, electric, and sewer systems. When people are working they don't have time to do drugs, they take their money and buy cars, refrigerators, go on vacation or even just being able to go to a restaurant. One good construction job produces 7 more good laying jobs for Americans. These jobs produce lots of taxes which more than pays for the initial investment. Eisenhower (R) produced one of the best economic times in the U. S. by building our Interstate system and other projects. It isn't rocket science, just good business and why should we keep poring billions of dollars into government agencies whom only obtainable goal is to preserve their own high paying federal job.

    WV Patriot

    • Ronin

      Eisenhower had just finished taking part in a worldwide reduction of employable 18-25-yr-old males called World War Two. It is a lot easier to produce what looks like prosperity when 50% of the people who would be unemployed or homeless are in graves in Arlington or scattered on beachheads across the Pacific.

      Nonetheless, the drug war is the longest-running war of any nation in the planet's history against their own citizens, and the citizens just lay there, legs in the air, saying, faintly, "Oh, no, don't... please.... stop...."

  • Woodchuck

    Looks like it's a job for men.

  • Big T

    Wrong terminology for their intent. They will try to eliminate heroin, not eradicate it.
    China eradicated opium abuse in the 40's and 50's by ANY means necessary. If we really want to eradicate drug abuse in this country we must do likewise. It is a spreading cancer that will ultimately lead to this countries collapse if we don't.

    • Ronin

      That description was used to justify the drug war, prohibition of alcohol, McCarthyism, banning inter-racial marriage, denouncing women for wearing slacks and cutting their hair, trying to prevent the rise of the stream engine and the internal combustion automobile.

      Got anything new?

  • vashti

    interesting they have not one token person of color or a female in the bunch.

  • Bill

    Another feel good do nothing bunch of bull.

  • Dr. Sacasm

    I support daily corporal punishment for drug users, until they decide not to use anymore.

  • thornton

    Good luck to them....and I hope they consider a reduced budget for photo op signage.

  • Big Mike

    Yes..alcohol and nicotine ARE def the gateway drugs. Kids first "euphoric" feelings come first from those two chemicals.

  • polarbear

    Alcohol is the real gateway drug in America.

    • Hillybilly

      Wow , I guess we know who the pot smoker is now !

      • Jason412

        I don't smoke pot, and I would also agree that far more kids drink alcohol before they ever smoke pot. If alcohol is the high they feel, and they spend the rest of their lives chasing a high, how is it not the gateway drug?

        I bet you'd be hard pressed to find a hardcore heroin addict who didn't say alcohol was the first substance they abused.

        • Legalize Pot

          Pot should be legal, alcohol illegal. Alcohol has a far more potent effect on the brain after consumption. Example would be drinking and driving. One can smoke all the pot they want and drive from here to California with no problem. But drink enough alcohol, and your eyes get crossed.

          • thornton

            Possibly....'course, they also would not care how long it took to make that drive to California.

            Add in the Cheeto boxes littering the superslab and, wow, the downsides begin to mount.

          • Hillbilly

            What an idiot !!!!

          • ViennaGuy

            "One can smoke all the pot they want and drive from here to California with no problem."

            Then explain why people have been busted for DWI while smoking pot and driving

            You do know that a joint contains over 40 cancer-causing chemicals, right?

  • David

    The Democratic Party is the ruination of the once great nation...

    As well as the state of WV..

    250k grant from the county? Where did the county get the money?

    I thought they were going broke because of the plants fiasco...

    Look another picture of booth Goodwin ..

    What's going to run for ?

  • Hillbilly

    I hope they are serious about putting the heat on drugs , starting with pot "The gateway drug" all the way to heroin , it is the ruination of a ounce great nation .

    • Ronin

      Maybe they should worry more about inbreeding up in your holler, hillybilly. Your tired old "Pot is the evil weed" became hilarious myth to anyone over the age of 6 about the time the FIRST Bush was bombing his way into history.

    • Cigarman

      So is poor spelling!