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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Maine Crime Down, But Drug Trade is Growing

Maine is one of the safest state’s in our Nation. We can all be proud of that.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Every year, the Maine Department of Public Safety releases information on criminal statistics, and this year there are many signs of encouragement.  Crime in Maine decreased nearly 15 percent during 2014, the largest drop in 40 years.

As Governor, I am determined to decrease domestic violence. Our society must not tolerate it. We may not be able to eliminate this abuse, but we can be committed to talking about how to detect early signs of abuse and share with people the resources and help available for victims.

During the past four years, I have spoken to thousands of young people around the State highlighting the dangers of domestic violence and how to identify the signs. I’m pleased to say there were fewer domestic violence assaults and three fewer homicides in 2014 compared to 2013.

However, we must always remember that behind the number is a family member, a loved one, a friend, neighbor or coworker. They are not statistics.

There are other signs of improvement. Crimes involving aggravated assaults, robberies and burglaries declined last year. The number of arson cases decreased, as well.

However, drug trafficking is on the rise. Drug arrests went up, and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency continues to see significant abuse of prescription drugs and heroin, as well as an increase in out-of-state drug dealers.

Democratic Senator Ann Haskell said we have already lost the war on drugs. Democrats have given up on getting drugs off our streets.  Their solution is simply ignore the problem.

To be successful fighting Maine’s drug problem, we must have a plan. We need to fund more agents at the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. If we want drugs off the streets, we must be willing to fight the root of the problem: drug dealers.

There were 208 drug-induced deaths identified in Maine in 2014. It’s likely more go unidentified. The use of heroin is increasing. Nearly twice as many people died from a heroin overdose in 2013 than in 2014 – 34 in 2013, 57 in 2014.

Even more troubling, there were 961 drug-affected babies born in our State last year.

Drugs are the driving force for most of the crime in Maine. But Democrats continue to undercut the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and its ability to hire an adequate number of agents. These agents are the only way to hunt down these drug-dealing thugs and put them behind bars.

Democrats choose to turn a blind eye on our drug problem, but I will not back down in my support for more agents, prosecutors and judges to fight this major problem.

I want to thank our law enforcement officials for all the work they do to keep us safe. Local and State police put their lives on the line for us every day. On behalf of all Mainers, I thank you for making our state a safer place.

Thank You,

Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

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