It'll Take a Village to Halt Oak Park's Drug Traffic

Officials concerned that increased drug use will mean more gangs

Records of Village Board discussions regarding an increased instance of drug use in Oak Park weren't easy to get, but the local paper finally collected evidence that there's a growing problem in that western suburb.

Now, Oak Park officials are raising a red flag after noticing a marked increase in the use of drugs in their village.

That translates into a higher threat of a gang presence in Oak Park schools, they say.

Without addressing the potential problem, organized street gangs could take control of blocks and create a sweeping change to Oak Park's demographic landscape, the Oak Leaves reported Wednesday.

John Williams, Oak Park Township youth services director, is appealing to village residents across the board for help in dealing with the problem.

"The only way you win this thing is if everybody is working," Williams said.

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