I've talked about the heroin and drug crisis many times on the show. It's something that we have to have an honest conversation about. We need more accountability against those who are users.

I was joined in studio by Mitch Little, The Chief for Toms River Police Dept. and Jillian Messina, who handles Community Affairs for the department. Toms River seems to be ground zero for the heroin epidemic, unfortunately. Chief Little attributed the high drug use to location. Toms River is centrally located so dealers from either north or south Jersey can easily drive there.

Chief Little provided us some shocking statistics. In 2015, they had 22 deaths to drug overdoses. In 2016, the stat doubled with 44 deaths to drug overdose. "Whatever we're doing to help, it's not helping it's making it worse," Little said.

How do you fix it? Chief Little and Messina have the right idea. It can't start with adults, it has to start with our kids. Kids have to be taught they are accountable for their actions. Jillian Messina works with the police officers who are out in the community everyday to help develop a bond with the local kids. "Hopefully, from all the programs that we do, These kids will have relationships that if given a choice, everything in life is choices, you have the right road and the wrong road, and hopefully these kids may choose the right road because Chief Little would be upset with them or  Officer so-and-so would be upset with them. 'I'm not going to do that, you guys go along, I'm not going to do that.' And we're hoping to build those relationships to make those good choices," Messina said.

You can listen to more of the interview in the YouTube clip above.

More from New Jersey 101.5:


More From New Jersey 101.5 FM