Opioid crisis the forefront of the Tazewell County Sheriff race - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Opioid crisis the forefront of the Tazewell County Sheriff race

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

In Tazewell County, the Sheriff's race is heating up.

At an open candidates forum in Washington, both Chief Deputy Jeffrey Lower and Officer Mike Eeten had their time to meet constituents, alongside the candidates for County Coroner (Scott Price, Steve Bresnahan & Charles Hanley, all Republican) and County Clerk (Republicans John Ackerman, Brett Grimm & Shelly Hranka and Democrat Brittany Miller).

Both officers agreed that the biggest issue facing Tazewell County - and Central Illinois at large - is the drug and opioid epidemic.

Eeten and Lower continued by saying the drug problem isn't something that police can just arrest their way out of.

"You've got to attack this as a community," explained Chief Deputy Lower. "Not just as a police department or as government entity, this has to be a collective that we have to address."

"It is at an epidemic level," said Officer Eeten. "And so we have to do more than just go out and arrest people. We have to make sure we do more to educate our young people so they don't fall into these traps."

The primary election will be held March 20th.

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