Operation Aims to Help Drug Users

Around 50 people were arrested, but not taken straight to jail

By Danya Bacchus
|  Thursday, Apr 25, 2013  |  Updated 10:24 AM PDT
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Operation Tip the Scale Helping Drug Users

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Operation Tip the Scale Helping Drug Users

Operation Tip the Scale serves as a drug enforcement and treatment outreach so the people arrested who are drug users can be offered help.
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Around 50 people were arrested during a sweep with Operation Tip the Scale on Wednesday.

But instead of taking people straight to jail, they are offering alternatives. San Diego Sheriff's Department, local police and a host of other agencies were involved in the operation.

Operation Tip the Scale serves as a drug enforcement and treatment outreach so people arrested who are drug users, were offered help.

“We don't want to just rearrest them and put them in custody and forget about them and then they get out again and do it all over,” said Supervising Probation Officer Jason Druxman. “We want to give them options.”

Teams went door to door, checking the compliance of probationers -- most of who have drug offenses.
Many were drug tested on the spot. If they didn't pass they were handcuffed and put in a patrol car. 

Other officers did direct patrols by stopping suspicious vehicles and people.

This Operation started back in 2009 by Assistant Sheriff Patricia Duke. She noticed drug related problems like crime can't be fought by only making arrest.

Authorities say usually after each tip the scale, the meth hotline sees a 50 percent spike in calls from the targeted areas.

“Law enforcement is usually arrest, arrest, arrest and we can't do that anymore,” said Duke. “With the state realignment of prisoners and the flood of new offenders in our communities. We've just got to think differently.”

Someone agreed to go to treatment on Wednesday, so after they were processed they were taken straight to a rehab facility. If probationers were in compliance, many received gift cards to grocery stores.

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