The Heroin Highway

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Cracking down heroin dealers is the goal of the Stateline Area Narcotics Team, or SLANT.  Now, Dixon Police are working with the drug force to try and cut off the heroin supply flowing from the Forest City to the Sauk Valley.

Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss says all of his department’s heroin investigation lead directly to Rockford.

“When you look at the supply and the demand, the supply is in Rockford,” said Langloss.  “It’s the most convenient, quickest, easiest place for those who suffer from heroin addiction to go to get that drug.”

Dixon is trying to stem the demand with the Safe Passage Initiative, a program designed to get people who are addicted to heroin into treatment, rather than a jail cell.

“Addiction is not a crime.  Addiction is a disease.  If we put people in jail and treat them like criminals – if they’re suffering from addiction, we strengthen their addiction.  You start to see them step up the ladder from minor non-violent crime to violent crimes eventually.”

The program is seeing great success with dozens of addicts seeking help.  That may be one reason for a change in the supply route from Rockford.  Over the last six months, Dixon Police have seen an increase in Rockford dealers traveling to Dixon.  Langloss says he has a message for them: “If you come to Dixon from Rockford selling heroin, you’re going to be taken down.  It’s going to be very swift and the penalties are going to be significant.”

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