• Operation Impact aims to curb addictions in the Plymouth area


    (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Drug abuse is a modern day plague. It is destroying lives in the richest communities, as well as in the poorest, but every day law enforcement is fighting back, trying hard to make a difference.

    In Plymouth, the District Court Probation Department is teaming up with police officers to enforce Operation Impact.

    Although Plymouth may be America's hometown, it can't escape the scourge of drug abuse sweeping the rest of the nation.

    "We just lost someone on the beach. She overdosed at the beach. Twenty-six-year-old female died," Tim Norris, the acting Chief Probation Officer for Plymouth District Court, told FOX 25's Bob Ward. "We are seeing a huge amount of synthetic opiates. Percocets. Oxycontin. Vicodin. That are being abused by kids in high school up to 30 to 40-years-old."

    Operation Impact gets police departments, the sheriff's department, and probation officers working together to check up on probationers, making sure they are living up to the terms of their release.

    Courtney McCarthy, 23, developed an addiction to pain medication. She was sent to jail and is now on probation.

    "I just kind of got mixed up with the wrong crowd, doing the wrong thing. Unfortunately, it took me to a dark place," McCarthy said.

    McCarthy is also a mother. Her baby was born while she was in jail.

    "It was an eye-opener. It was an experience I wouldn't wish on anybody," she said.

    At McCarthy's home, Probation Officer Jim Polin checks to make sure she is not drinking or doing drugs which could send her back to jail. McCarthy passes that day, but says she takes each day at a time.

    Operation Impact does not always have a happy ending. Sometimes people are found in violation and must be sent back to jail.

    During Operation Impact, Polin was forced to send a probationer back to jail because he failed a breathalyzer test.

    Operation Impact also goes into effect at the courthouse. There is a mental health court and a drug diversion court to get help people in the grip of powerful and destructive addictions.

    It is hoped that although the operation is intrusive, it will have an impact on the community and on lives.

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