A child growing up in a world of drugs, abuse, and crime... A reality for many children in our area.
You might ask: how big is the problem? This is the High Plains... The crime rate is low. But the place these children call home is a world away..
Tonight in part one of Children of Crime we explore the problem.
Captain Kurt Ecker with the Amarillo Fire Department says, "I wish I had an answer. It breaks your heart. More times than not, while we are treating this adult who has taken drugs, out of the next room comes someone in diapers. They don't understand what is going on and yet they are living in this, this environment. "
Lt. Eric Bohannon, Commander of the Narcotics Unit for the Amarillo Police Department says, "Very rarely do people know that we find kids sometimes in these environments."
Captain Ecker says children found in a bad home environment are normally exposed to drugs.
"It's sad to see some of the conditions children in this city live in, and it is directly related to the escalation, in our opinion, of methamphetamines, the manufacturing, the distributing the using." Captain Ecker says.
No part of town is excluded... No neighborhood immune.
"It could go from the complete extreme of nastiness to a house that you would never in your wildest dreams imagine would be a place where people are selling drugs." Lt. Bohannon says.
It's not just drugs... Abuse, poverty, and crime are seen daily by these children.
"We can't change their home environment, or who their parents are, but we do everything we can to try and make it better for these kids, at least for the short period of time that we can help them." Lt. Bohannon says.