Officer Brian Hoebel, an 11-year veteran of the Sharpsburg Police Department, was the presenter.
He said that Sharpsburg is changing and evolving – currently there is a decrease in violent crimes, but an increase in hit-and-run incidents. But since this is a small community, everyone knows each other and that limits the amount of crime.
On March 12, 2013, Officer Hoebel lost his sister, Brooke, age 33, from an overdose of heroin. He said she struggled for many years and left a daughter behind.
Officer Hoebel said the best way to approach addiction is to see it as a disease; therefore, incarceration is no way to help someone struggling with addiction. The person with the disease needs to admit their problem and to find a higher power to help them.
Officer Hoebel said that Sharpsburg is evolving into family-oriented policing to help fight domestic violence, substance abuse and other problems. To help anyone in need, including those with the disease of addiction, we need to find the person on a human level and give them resources for help. The best help is to partner with faith-based resources because the spirit needs to be fixed, as well as the mind and body.