Fox Valley Metro Police battling drug issue in Sunset Park

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KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) - Fox Valley Metro Police found drugs and drug paraphernalia when officers searched two cars in Sunset Park Monday night. The officers, out on routine patrol, were focusing on the park after hearing concerns about possible drug activity there.

Home to athletic fields, an amphitheater, and walking trails, Sunset Park in Kimberly is a popular place. But in the past year, Fox Valley Metro Police were hearing from people concerned about what was happening there.

According to Lt. Jeremy Stolke, "Led us to believe that there was some short term traffic going on in the park and some possible suspicious activity with vehicles and people pulling up for a short amount of time and then leaving."

Since March of last year, Fox Valley Metro has had officers conduct extra patrols through Sunset Park.

"Started interacting with people in the park, talking with people that were driving through or parked in the area," says Lt. Stolke.

Those interactions have led to four drug arrests, three for marijuana offenses. The fourth, just last night, for marijuana, methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"We have noticed, not necessarily, specifically in the parks, but we have noticed in the last several years a very big upswing in the types of drugs we're seeing such as methamphetamine and heroin and cocaine," adds Lt. Stolke.

While authorities continue to make drug arrests in the park, they do believe that the police presence is making a difference.

Lt. Stolke says, "It's not intended to be a negative contact, a lot of it is just going up and talking with them, like they did last night. And something in that conversation tips them off to the fact that there may be some illegal activity going on and then they investigate further and then they're able to come up with an arrest like they did last night."