“This (Thursday) morning I went by there, and I turned down 29th (Street) and came around and there were all of these vehicles parked there,” Murray said. “I saw the back door open, and what looked like the doctor, and his arm came out and he was kind of directing them in.”
That is when Murray called Horner.
“I told him that there were a lot of people there and that if he wanted to send a police car there to monitor or take license plates or to do whatever, that I would pay for the overtime,” Murray said. “He said he thought that was a good idea.”
Murray said Sgt. Joe Shupert, the Portsmouth Police D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer, went to the scene and began to take down license plate numbers.
Murray said a doctor and a nurse came out and asked Shupert what he was doing.
“He let them know, we don’t want any pain clinics here,” Murray said. “And the doctor said he thought it was in the county not the city. He (Shupert) said, ‘no sir, this is the city. We don’t want you here.’”
Horner said he isn’t claiming it was for certain a pain clinic.
“Obviously it had all the indications that it had created a concern for us that it was another pain clinic, or a pain mill,” Horner said. “It definitely drew our attention very quickly due to the out-of-town tags and the volume of people coming in and out. And I am understanding that they have chosen to move out of the city. I hope that occurs.”
Horner was complimentary of the way Shupert handled the situation.
Horner said the doctor at the Scioto Trail pain clinic was associated with the pain clinic at the intersection of Ohio 348 and Ohio 104 in Lucasville.
Murray said that is when the doctor said the clinic would be closed Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday afternoon the clinic’s doors were locked and a “closed” sign hung in the window.
“Obviously we don’t want to deter any physician prescribing medications legitimately to patients, but obviously we have a responsibility to the citizens,” Horner said. “As opposed to being reactive we chose to be proactive in this case.”
Horner urged City Council to approve the proposed ordinance that would put a 180-day moratorium on such facilities.
“I would highly recommend that City Council embrace passing that ordinance putting a moratorium on pain clinics, and obviously do that as quickly as possible in light of what occurred today,” Horner said.
Murray said the city is on its way to using teamwork to accomplish things.
“We’re not going to tolerate it any longer,” Murray said. “The police chief and I are working together now trying to solve problems. I told the chief that we just need to re-establish the professional relationship we need to have to solve the problems of the city.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.