Marietta PD withdraws from countywide task force, takes new approach to fight drug war

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For 40 years the MCS, the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Drug Task Force has been cracking down on dealers in their war against drugs. Now the Marietta Police Department is withdrawing from the Task Force. 

"Chief Dan Flynn is very concerned with the opioid crisis and methamphetamine use in the city.  He has decided to withdraw us from that Task Force to reallocate resources," said Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy.

Marietta will continue to crack down on dealers and traffickers, but officers could direct addicts to treatment centers instead of locking them up. Chief Flynn said the best way to fight a drug crisis is by using a balanced 3-part strategy involving prevention, intervention, and interdiction. 

"We're placing an emphasis on how to get that person help to break that addiction," said Officer McPhilamy.

If anyone knows how serious the drug problem is in Cobb County, it's Missy Owen. She founded The Zone, a recovery support center in Marietta, after her son, Davis, died from a drug overdose. Owen was at this week's drug summit in Atlanta when she got word that Marietta Police were pulling out of the Task Force. 

"Why would a part of the whole leave? Anytime you have investment from the entire community, you're better as a community," said Owen.

Owen says MCS helped The Zone when they were starting out by donating $50,000 from assets and forfeitures.  She also feels a strong connection to Marietta Police. 

"Marietta Police caught the guy who sold to my son," said Owen. 

Owen doesn't understand why Marietta PD would want to leave the task force. 

"We're better because of the whole, we're better because of the enforcement and intervention and prevention and I hate to see it divided," said Owen.