July 16, 2021
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
A full version of this story can be found in the July 15, 2021 print edition of The Brillion News.
BRILLION – Community members are asking for help in thwarting off alleged drug use in Brillion.
Unlawful drug use in the community, and the ease of access to the drugs, became a repeated topic of discussion during Monday’s townhall meeting with Brillion Mayor Mike Smith and members of city council.
“[The drug issue] is very real, at the high school, especially,” citizen Hope Nesper said. “I don’t know if any of you have kids at the high school, but if you do, your kids know there’s a huge, huge drug issue there.”
Nesper said the drug issue at Brillion High School became worse this year.
“There was an active drug investigation this year at the high school, which I’m sure nobody knew about,” Nesper said.
She said that high school students use social media platforms like Snapchat to complete drug deals, which are frequently completed in parks.
“It’s bad,” Nesper said. “I don’t know what we can do about this but something’s gotta happen.”
Brillion City Administrator Peter Wills said that he and Smith will have their first meeting with new Brillion Superintendent Corey Baumgartner prior to the start of the school year. In that meeting, Wills said, they plan to talk with Baumgartner about placing a Brillion Police Department member inside the school as a school resource officer (SRO). Officer Ben Bastian previously served in that role until the Brillion School District discontinued the position for the 2020- 2021 school year.
“Thank you for bringing it up,” Smith told Nesper. “I don’t have kids that go to the school, so I would not be aware of it that way.”
Smith said that the Brillion police are always working on the issue.
Amy Gotter, a fellow citizen, asked that a group be formed with parents and city and school officials.
“I’m wondering if there was an interest in a group of parents, teachers, administrators … to help the police combat this,” Gotter said. “I understand they’re busy. I absolutely love the police department … I think we’re a small town. We can all work together, we can all keep an eye on this together and talk to each other about it.”
Gotter said drug dealers come from other places, and in Brillion.
“There are known drug deals in our parks often. Dealers come from Manitowoc, Appleton, and right here in Brillion, and they sell drugs to our kids in the parks,” Gotter said.