Kokomo Perspective 11 11 2015 E Edition Page A1

765-452-0055 kokomoperspective .com e-edition November 11, 2015 Over 3.46 Million Callers For Local Weather Call 457-9211 Sponsored by: City of Kokomo Coca-Cola White's Meat Market Indiana Hearing Aid at Kokomo Sheriff makes fixes to dispatch Rogers says problem overstated, but improvements were needed The Howard County 911 dispatch center had a rough summer, but out of that diculty some needed changes are com- ing. Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers re- ported last week that a working group of public safety administrators has developed new policies and procedures to help reduce errors and confu- sion. I don't believe dis- patch was ever in dis- array, said Rogers. I think the community understands we cant be perfect, but they do expect us to operate at the highest level we can. There were some human errors. There were some mistakes made along the way. The dispatch center came under fire in July following a botched emergency call that re- sulted in a citizen's death. A month later representatives of the Kokomo Police Depart- ment and Kokomo Fire Department approached the Howard County Board of Commissioners to express their concerns about what they alleged was a pattern of errors that placed public safety at risk. Rogers took these al- legations seriously, and after wading through a few weeks of contention tinged with politics, he and other public safety administrators began the process of reviewing complaints and develop- ing changes to dispatch services. The majority of the alleged complaints re- ceived from the city -- some which dated back to 2011 -- had previously been addressed and dealt with by city police, city ire, and county dispatch personnel long before Aug. 17, said Rogers. Some of the complaints were the result of new computer dispatch soft- ware. The (software) changeover process re- quired most of 2014 to complete, and issues con- tinue to be addressed. The main complaints were found to be misun- derstandings, miscom- munication, and as was expected, human error was found in a few of the complaints. Rogers explained that one of the primary causes of confusion arose from competing standard operating procedures which survived the 2011 consolidation to a single, county-administered dis- patch service. While there were good intentions by all public safety person- nel working through the transition to a consoli- dated dispatch center, it has become apparent that a uniform policy will help reduce non-essen- tial work and confusion, said Rogers. To that end, Rogers announced a number of changes which will take effect on Dec. 1, and they will directly impact how citizens interact with dispatch services. The by Pat Munsey Editor pmunsey@kokomoperspective.com Dispatch A6 Perspective Photo / Jenn Goad DISPATCH - Lynn Von Reuss mans the city side of the consolidated dispatch, although she's available to take county calls if needed. How heroin hit Howard County Former addict proposes wide-ranging approach to fighting drug abuse (Editor's note: This is the second in an ongoing series focusing upon the drug problem currently facing Howard County, the state, and the nation.) Albert Peers chose Kokomo as his new home following 31 years of heroin addiction and nine subsequent in re- covery. Having spent decades within the drug culture, both as a user and a courier, he has un- usual insight into how the heroin trade oper- ates within a communi- ty. He hopes to make a difference here, leading others to recovery. But first, the problem must be understood. The drug trade is nothing new to Howard County. It has thrived for more than 30 years, feeding off of the rela- tively large dispos- able incomes of many residents that exist in a successful manufactur- ing community. When times are good in Koko- mo, so is the drug trade, and the dealers know it, Peers explained. It is a business, said Peers. It's about the money. It has nothing to do with our health. It's not about infiltrating the country. The per- ception years ago was there was some kind of honor involved with the Latin Dragons and the Latin Kings; it was just about the money. With Sonoma crime family as it is now, it's still about the money. Peers said that the only thing that changes about the drug trade is which drug is in vogue. In the 1970s, it was co- caine, though heroin had its place. The 1980s brought crack cocaine, which remained a scourge for more than 20 years. Heroin returned briefly in the 1990s, but it was quickly supplant- ed by the proliferation of prescription narcot- ics. And methamphet- amine raged across the Midwest, starting in the by Pat Munsey Editor pmunsey@kokomoperspective.com Heroin A8 Perspective Photo / Jenn Goad OWNER - Howard White plans on converting the Wal- green's building at Sycamore and Washington into a grocery store. White's moving to downtown Meat market will open full-service grocery this spring by Pat Munsey Editor pmunsey@kokomoperspective.com After 36 years in busi- ness and maintaining three successful loca- tions, Howard White is ready to make a big move. He and his son, Josh, are opening a new White's Meat Market in downtown Kokomo. According to Howard, the decision has been a long time in coming, but now that it is here, he and his family are excited to call downtown their new home. The new market will be located at the in- tersection of Sycamore and Washington streets -- the former location of Walgreen's. The city came to us and asked if we were interested, said White. That was a year ago in October. We had been thinking about relocat- ing because our lease is coming up at the south store. So, we decided to do it. The time is right. The city is growing in downtown, so this is the time to do it. The reason for the long wait between the citys irst overtures and the announcement, which took place on Nov. 9, had everything to do with the property itself. Howard explained that the sale was held up by estate is- sues with the land. Now that this has been settled, he hopes to begin reno- vations on the building by the end of the month. Local contractor Hearn Construction has been hired to perform the work. The grand opening of the new White's location will take place in spring 2016. Howard is excited about the many options the 5,800 square-foot store will provide for White's Meat Market customers. We'll be a full-service grocery store with fresh meat, as always, said White. We'll have a full- line deli. We'll have a hot chicken bar, a hot food bar, a salad bar, an ice cream bar. It will be a lot more than what we have offered before. The new White's loca- tion will feature longer hours -- from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through White's A7

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