News Local/State

Proposed Task Force Would Crack Down on Heroin Use


A statewide commission wants the Illinois Attorney General’s office to appoint an anti-heroin task force.

Jerry Elsner of the Illinois State Crime Commission said heroin use is running rampant in the state, and he says it must be stopped.

The task force he is proposing would be made up of current and retired law enforcement and military officials who would have “broad power” to investigate heroin use. It would report directly to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

“We’re being exposed to the different mafias from the different countries," Elsner said. "We have to have people that have some knowledge of how they function, how they operate. We’re not saying that’s going to stop heroin, but this will once again restore confidence in our system.”

Elsner said heroin has corrupted the legal system in one southwestern Illinois community, where a judge stepped down last week after being charged with federal heroin and gun offenses.

According to the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, heroin is the second most common drug in the state, after alcohol.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is trying to organize a committee to study heroin use among teenagers.