DELBARTON - The town of Delbarton has taken its first steps in dealing with the drug epidemic and homelessness in its little hamlet.

"There have been concerns in our community concerning substance abuse and homelessness," said longtime Delbarton Mayor John Preece. "As the mayor of Delbarton, I have personally spoken to the West Virginia Attorney General's office, the Williamson Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, the sheriff of Mingo County, the Housing Authority of Mingo County and the Delbarton Police Department.

"From this point forward, people roaming the streets after (the 11 p.m.) curfew will be stopped," Preece said. "Any situation will be handled to the fullest extent of the law. In some cases, these people may be jailed if they are found to be habitual offenders or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All local law enforcement agencies have agreed to assist and enforce the curfew."

Preece said Delbarton will add an extra officer to its department in order to help enforce the laws.

"The Housing Authority has assured me that they will be enforcing all regulations for their tenants. Anyone who fails to stay in compliance with the rules and regulations of the MCHA will be evicted forthwith," he said.

Preece also said Delbarton will install security cameras around downtown to monitor problem areas.

Any information of suspicious activity should be reported to the Delbarton Police Department or any law enforcement agency in Mingo County. Preece said if callers wish to stay anonymous, they can place information in the drop box at Delbarton City Hall, 1891 State Rt. 65.

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