ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Board will meet to discuss hiring a new permanent commander.
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said they're seeking someone with experience to take over, as officers continue to combat substance abuse in the area.
Law enforcement agencies around South Georgia continue to warn communities about a new drug called 'flakka' that's making its way on the streets.
But Chief Persley said it's heroin that they're most concerned about.
He addressed city commissioners Tuesday, explaining that while marijuana may remain the main drug in the area, heroin is coming back strong.
Research shows it's estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.
He said synthetic drugs and methamphetamine are growing concerns.
And as the drug squad aims to get these drugs off the street, Chief Persley explained how heroin poses a major threat to officers and the community.
"It's a safety concern for everybody," said Chief Persley. "You don't want any kids running across any needles and sticking themselves. It can become a public health concern."
Chief Persley added that he tells his officers the most dangerous person they'll meet on the streets is a person with mental health issues who is a substance abuser, because of the unpredictability at hand.
The Chief said they hope to decide on a new commander by next week to address the growing concern of these drugs in the community.