MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — First Lady Melania Trump set out to West Virginia earlier this week to discuss the opioid crisis and talked about the positive impact of the Martinsburg initiative. Federal officials including Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Shelley Moore Capito and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the decline in the percentage of overdoses and deaths in the state has grabbed the first lady’s attention.
“This problem knows no boundaries, its everywhere in the country and to find the solutions that are working is incredibly important,” Capito said, (R-W.Va). The meeting took place in Huntington, but officials say the city of Martinsburg is leading the way with their “Martinsburg Initiative.” The program has a partnership with local schools called the “Adopt a School Program.” The focus of the imitative aims at prevention of drugs.
“We have a different officer going into eight different schools throughout our city and we visit them on a weekly basis with these kids in the classroom, elementary and intermediate schools,” Chief Maury Richards said, who works for the Martinsburg Police Department. Richards talks about strategy and what his officers do every day to maintain a positive response.
“We’re out of the cars, we’re on foot patrol, bike patrol, we have a great K-9 unit that’s interacting and we’re making thousands of contacts, positive contacts building trust and communication with our entire community,” Richards said.
Officials say they will do whatever it takes to meet the challenges facing communities including treatment, recovery, and drug courts. Richards says the program has reached over 4,000 students.