Drugs, jail overcrowding and the budget are just a few topic that came up for discussion at a community meeting in Elkton Thursday night.
The meeting was the first town hall style meeting held by Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson, together with the Elkton Police Department.
This is the first of several meetings the Sheriff is having to be proactive in communities.
"This is just a way we can go out to them instead of just waiting for them to come to us," said Hutcheson.
Those who came to the meeting had several issues on their minds, including finding ways to stop the use of the synthetic drug known as bath salts.
"That was my biggest concern. The drugs," said Michael Price, a resident of Elkton.
Price says his wife's nephew died in October after misusing bath salts.
Bath salts is better known as fake cocaine. The substance can be snorted, inhaled or injected in the body. It is not intended for human consumption.
Gov. Bob McDonnell banned the use or sale of the substance from convenience stores and other places last March. But police say manufacturers are finding loopholes, by changing the ingredients to put bath salts back on store shelves.
"It's really a problem with the kids. Mike Eppard started a group trying to educate the kids and the parents on what bath salts can do to you. We have about 168 members," said Price.
That group is called Supporters of Sobriety Amongst Youth.
"Not a lot of people know this but we had the first bath salt arrest in the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Chief Kevin Whitfield of the Elkton Police Department.
Whitfield says prescription drug abuse and meth labs are also a concern.
Hutcheson says law enforcement busted five meth labs.
The culprits end up in an already overcrowded Rockingham County jail.
Hutcheson says the jail is designed to hold about 200 inmates. Currently, 371 inmates are housed at the jail. Inmates are being double bunked, and some sleep on the floor.
Hutcheson says he's working with the board of supervisors to come up with a solution.
One of those solutions would be to transfer some inmated to Middle River Regional Jail, but Hutcheson says the county and the City of Harrisonburg would be charged.
"I hope the answer is not building more jails. We'll have to incarcerate people who have to be incarcerated, but if we can control the source of some of the problems then maybe that will help reduce the overcrowding as well," said Roy Davis, mayor of Elkton.
Davis also touched on getting the community to communicate more with police.
"Sometimes people are afraid of the police. They are there to help you and they want to make people feel comfortable calling in. They can't be everywhere. They can't be the eyes and ears. We have to depend on the people," said Davis.
The people of Elkton spoke loud and clear and many say they felt the community meeting was a good idea.
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