Toronto and Jefferson County law enforcement officials have every reason to be pleased with the culmination of an illegal drug investigation last week. They kept an enormous amount of heroin and crack cocaine from hitting local streets.
But they didn't do it alone, and that is excellent news.
Two people were arrested in a raid last week at an apartment in Toronto. Members of the Toronto Police, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and Jefferson County Drug Task Force were involved.
Abut 100 grams of heroin and 15 grams of crack cocaine, a quantity of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash were seized in the raid. Officials estimated the street value of the heroin at $40,000.
Depending on the amount used - hard-core addicts require much more heroin to get "high" - that amount of the drug could represent thousands of doses of the narcotic. Keeping that much from reaching customers in the Ohio Valley is a praiseworthy feat.
Unfortunately, sending two pushers to jail will do little good. Others, including many from outside our area, will be eager to fill the void.
Especially interesting in the law enforcement report of the arrests was a comment by Toronto Police Capt. Rick Parker.
He said the investigation took weeks and involved intensive, around-the-clock surveillance of the apartment in question.
Parker added law enforcement officers were helped by the public. "Once again we were receiving information from our good, property-owning, tax-paying citizens ... who will not tolerate this type of activity in their neighborhood," he said.
As we have pointed out many times, law enforcement officers are quick to stress they cannot do their jobs without help from the public. When it is provided, police and sheriff's departments are able to make dramatic crackdowns on crime. The Toronto raid was an excellent example.
It should give other area residents - sick of drug trafficking and the violence it can bring to our communities - hope that things can change. It also should encourage them to be part of the process by tipping law enforcement agencies off to illegal activity.
It worked in Toronto, and it can work in other local towns and cities.