While I consider myself “tough on crime,” I didn’t run for Navajo County Attorney simply to rack up convictions and lock people in prison. My responsibility as a prosecutor is to make our community safer and to solve problems.
Today in Navajo County, we have a problem with drug abuse. Unfortunately, communities locally, across the state and nationally have faced this same crisis for decades. My 20 years as a prosecutor have shown me that just arresting and locking up drug users does not solve or even reduce this problem.
In case after case, file after file, thousands of court actions a year, I see drugs ruining lives and driving crime. Drugs get people arrested, push addicts to steal and rob, and create an environment ripe for domestic violence and child abuse. Drugs tear at our schools and at our families. Drug cartels, meanwhile, gobble up value police and prosecutorial manpower while endangering lives throughout Navajo County and Arizona.
Vigilant law enforcement and aggressive prosecution are absolutely part of the solution, as I see it. But they’re only one component of reducing drug abuse. So is an honest dialogue focused on the harm drugs cause and the price addiction extracts from not only the addicted but also from those around them.
With help from community activists, City 4 Television, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Narcotics Officers Association, my office has created Navajo County Drug Stories to start that community conversation. It’s my hope that, in turn, these true stories will spark conversations around the dinner table, in the classroom and all over our county – conversations that will focus us on solving this awful problem we face.
Thank you for your time. If you have a question – or you want to be a part of this effort – please reach out to me today at Brad.Carlyon@navajocountyaz.gov. We would love your help … and to hear your story.
Navajo County Attorney