Panelists Named for Community conversation on drug crimes, addiction, neighborhood safety

Updated 3 years ago by Brian Chambers, Director of Communications City of Huntington
Panelists Named for Community conversation  on drug crimes, addiction, neighborhood safety

HUNTINGTON – Huntington residents will have an opportunity to learn what is being done to address drug crimes, addiction and neighborhood safety and how they can help with these challenges during a community conversation from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Panel members representing law enforcement; substance abuse treatment and recovery organizations; and neighborhood groups will brief attendees on current actions being taken to combat the challenges as well as provide specific actions that citizens can take to support the efforts of their agencies.

Following these presentations, attendees will participate in breakout groups during which they will identify areas where services may be lacking and ways they can get involved to support the missions of the various agencies.

Following the breakout groups, attendees will be able to visit displays created by several of the panelists and receive more information about how they can become involved.

The idea for the community conversation was birthed out of discussions about drug abuse and related crimes in Huntington on social media.


“We can no longer ignore the drug abuse and related crime that is occurring in our community. Citizens want to act, we want to help, but we’re not sure how,” said Huntington resident Jessica Pressman, who brought the idea about organizing a community conversation to city leaders. “By coming together as a community, and learning about the concerted efforts being made by our city government, substance abuse treatment facilities and other organizations, we can empower ourselves and identify specific ways we can get involved and be part of the solution.”


The community conversation is a partnership among the City of Huntington, United Way of the River Cities, The Herald-Dispatch and the Neighborhood Institute of Huntington. The following individuals will serve as panelists during the event:


* Jim Johnson, director of Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy

* Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli, Huntington Police Department

* Representatives from City of Huntington Office of Planning and Development

* Dr. Matt Rohrbach, West Virginia House of Delegates

* Lynn Ormiston, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership

* Matt Boggs, director of development, The Healing Place of Huntington

* Margaret VanZandt, co-founder, HER Place

* Karen Yost, CEO of Prestera Center

* Donna Rumbaugh, president, Neighborhood Institute of Huntington

* Tim Dixon, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ

* Sandra Clements, Huntington city councilwoman.

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