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Marshfield adds drug officer

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAU) -- With the New Year comes the addition of a new drug enforcement officer to the Marshfield Police Department. That’s according to Police Lt. Rick Gramza, who says the city will now have two drug cops to fight an increasing heroin problem. The additional officer will be working undercover in other jurisdictions as well, so Gramza says the new officer should help combat the drug problem throughout our area. That second drug officer is thanks to partial funding through a federal “cops” grant, and that other “proactive and preventative” efforts are going on as well to curb illegal drug use. Since 2010, almost 10 times more heroin has been confiscated in Marshfield than in any other area of central Wisconsin. Police Chief Gary Jepsen said, “I truly believe that this additional drug officer is necessary,” adding that, “two years ago, if you took a look at what was happening within the City of Marshfield, we did not have the serious type of violent crime that we had last year when we investigated four homicides at exactly the same time and three of them were directly related to drugs within the community”. That matching federal grant for the second drug officer funds 75% of the position up to a maximum of $125,000 for the first three years of the program.