Pineville residents told the Wyoming County Commission last Wednesday that they don’t like the proximity of the Drug Court to the city park.
Residents of the “Kentucky Side” said the recent move of the Day Report Center and Drug Court to the Riverside Complex is too close to children who may be playing or swimming at Palisades Park.
“Our residents don’t like it and our kids don’t like it,” one woman told the commission.
“The (Drug Court) program is a good program, but it shouldn’t be near a playground,” stated Norma Warner.
“We have seen the effects at the pool,” commented Pineville Mayor Tim Ellison.
He said use of the pool is down signifigantly from last year. “It’s a ghost town,” he remarked.
Ellison observed that the park is the only outdoor recreation in town.
“We’re not against the program, but this is not the place for it,” he said.
“I have had parents from the courthouse tell me they won’t bring their children down here,” Ellison stated.
Commission President Jason Mullins said the move of the Day Report, Drug Court and other offices to the Riverside Complex was the result of a space crunch at the courthouse.
Several people, including Angie Johnson, director of the Day Report Center, and Allen Lambert, probation officer, spoke to address the concerns expressed.
County Commissioner Silas Mullins said persons in the Day Report program “are always supervised.”
Jason Mullins said anyone who “sees anything” of concern going on should phone 911.
He said he would speak to Sheriff Randall Aliff about having an officer patrol the area regularly.
Silas Mullins noted that he “works with these people (in Day Report) every day, and I’ve never been afraid.
He said the commission was committed to having “a safe and secure environment.”
Circuit Court Judge Warren McGraw explained that Drug Court is a state-mandated program.
“It’s the law,” he remarked. “I don’t have any option but to obey it.”
He said it would be a good idea to have “policing in the area to keep you from having to do it yourself.
“If you have a problem, we’ll have to address it,” McGraw said.
Some residents said they would like to see the facility moved.
Jason Mullins commented that he didn’t think a move would take place any time soon.
Lambert discussed the process by which persons are recommended for Drug Court.
He said the Drug Court team meets with and evaluates participants weekly and the minimum time in the program is one year.
“The goal is make them productive citizens,” Lambert commented.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.