A Narcotics Officer Ends His War on Drugs


#TIA – It’s amazing how quickly some so committed can change their minds. And how seldom most people give their minds a chance. 

Kevin Simmers relished locking up drug users, no matter how little crack they had on them. “If they just had a pipe—fine,” he said. “At the end of the night, I wanted to have an arrest. I wanted a body.”

Decades later, despite his efforts, the opioid epidemic was in full swing in Hagerstown, “a small town with big-city problems” an hour outside Baltimore. In 2013, Simmers received an unusual phone call from his 18-year-old daughter, Brooke, who was typically defensive of her independence: “I need your help, Dad.” Simmers braced himself and met her for breakfast at a Waffle House near the so-called heroin highway, an intersection of interstates that connects major drug markets up and down the East Coast. Brooke told Simmers that she was addicted to opioid pain pills and didn’t know how to stop. Familiar with their street price, Simmers asked how Brooke, with no obvious income, could afford the expensive pills. “She told me she was selling her body,” he recalled.

Read more at The Atlantic