Crow Wing County commissioner Paul Koering is making headlines after saying people dying from drug overdoses in Crow Wing County “gets rid of the problem”.
Koering made the statement during a March 19 board meeting at the courthouse in Brainerd, during which the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office presented state and county data on an escalating drug overdose issue, specifically methamphetamine overdoses.
The sheriff’s office offered a plan to help curb the problem, recommending more intensive community outreach, more proactive enforcement measures, collaboration with EMS, additional investigators, and faster response times to medical emergencies. Data from Crow Wing County reveal meth seizures have skyrocketed over the last five years, going from 76 grams of the narcotic seized in 2014 to 2,089 grams in 2018.
During the board meeting, Koering is quoted by the Brainerd Dispatch as saying:
“I don’t know why we’re in such a big hurry to save somebody like this. I guess it sounds kind of harsh, but it kind of gets rid of a problem, in my mind.”
In 2018, medical personnel and deputies responded to approximately 60 overdose reports in Crow Wing County. Crow Wing County is also attempting to mitigate opioid overdose deaths, which, like many other places in Minnesota and across the country, have been on the rise.