You’re killing people” shouts the front page headline of The Herald-Palladium’s Dec. 21 edition, strategically situated above the fold for an instant view to potential readers. The subhead to the story speaks to the crackdown by police and prosecutors on drug dealers and the mounting overdose deaths that are occurring. It seems to me that we’re talking about murder, pure and simple. And then there’s the ironic contradiction of this get tough policy and the sentencing in a recent case, but I’ll get to this case in a bit.

I wholeheartedly support and applaud this focused effort by law enforcement and the message that is being sent to drug dealers and their suppliers. The courage and commitment exhibited by these fine people in what they do on a day-to-day basis is beyond anything I can imagine myself doing. Investigating drug overdoses as a crime is certainly a necessary and appropriate use of resources and is something the public has the responsibility to support.