The drug problem in Janesville seems to be spiraling out of control. Lack of money and resources is the problem. We have a police department that lags other cities' departments in per-capita funding of personnel, and our district attorney's office has one of the highest plea bargaining rates around. The street crimes unit realizes it needs to have multiple charges against an offender because a large portion of them will be thrown out in trade for a guilty plea. Drug dealers can afford expensive lawyers.

For a segment of our population, drug dealing and the undesirable activities and outcomes associated with it are a way of life, and I fear Janesville has become an easy target to conduct this kind of activity. It disturbs me that there seems to be a trend for people to come here from Illinois and elsewhere to saddle us with their illegal activities, violence and costs associated with it. Our city council and the state need to step up to the plate and give our police department and the district attorney's office the tools needed to fully keep up with the problem and send a clear message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated here.

I think if it went to referendum, most people would rather have their tax dollars going to enforcement and prosecution of these offenders than some of the nonessential things the city currently has on their plate.

JOEL THORN

Janesville

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