The Marion City Council chambers were packed Monday with concerned citizens who are worried about what's been described as a heroin epidemic in Marion over the last seven years.
A two-hour discussion including personal stories and ideas for how to get rid of the problem started at about 7 P.M. at City Hall--it was led by city councilman Josh Daniels.
Mayor Scott Schertzer said city government lacked the resources to properly take on an issue as big as drug abuse. Marion City Police Capt. Jay McDonald echoed Schertzer's sentiments, saying that the MARMET Drug Task Force was left with only two officers on full-time duty.
Several people that participated in the discussion claimed to be recovering heroin addicts or parents that had lost children to the drug. One former user said she drives six days a week to Franklin County for methodone treatment and wondered why there isn't a clinic offering it in Marion.
Another man shared a photograph of his teenage daughter who had died from the drug and pleaded for a plan to stop the flow of heroin. Also, a young pregnant woman said she was scared to raise her child in Marion because of the issue.
Mayor Schertzer said he is holding a closed meeting Wednesday afternoon with several local community leaders including pastors and police officers to discuss options.