Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Nassau police union officials and a respected leader in the drug treatment community have called for a local, county-based heroin task force to combat the rising epidemic of heroin abuse that has plagued our region. The startling increase in fatal heroin overdoses and reports of “heroin home delivery” services have prompted the call for an increase in the number of police officers and detectives on the street to attack the issue, along with a multi-pronged approach to education and treatment. Joining Murray were Nassau County Police Department Detectives Association President Glenn Ciccone, Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver, Nassau County Superior Officers Association Vice President Kevin Black and Warren Zysman, Chief Executive Officer of ACI drug treatment services.
“We have seen an increase of over 100% in the number of fatal heroin overdoses in Nassau County in 2015 compared to the 2014 figures,” stated Murray. “It’s time to form a departmental level heroin task force in Nassau County that will put more detectives and police officers on the street. We need to have more resources to track down dealers, interrupt home delivery of drugs and educate young people on the dangers of drugs.”
Murray and the police union officials indicated that more resources are needed in the battle against heroin. Specifically, the leaders called for more detectives and police officers dedicated to a local heroin task force. The task force would be at the departmental level in the Nassau County Police Department. It would be separate and distinct from federal task forces. The deployment of more police officers and detectives would track dealers, interrupt heroin delivery services and track internet activity related to the drug. Murray also detailed increased town funding for drug treatment and intervention, as well as the township’s plan to develop educational materials for young people.
“More detectives are needed to investigate and coordinate initiatives that will interrupt heroin distribution in Nassau County,” said Ciccone. “Increased resources in areas such as computer tracking are also essential to winning the war on drugs.”
“There is a need for more officers and detectives on the street and in our communities to attack this issue,” said Carver. “More resources are needed to prevent the heroin crisis from escalating.”
“The scourge of heroin is threatening to destroy even more families,” said Black. “We need a coordinated effort that includes a greater police presence at every level to be effective in dealing with drug abuse.”
Recently, Supervisor Murray announced a boost in funding to drug treatment and intervention facilities by the Hempstead Town Board. What’s more, the town is developing educational materials geared toward young people to help break the cycle of addiction.
“We need an intelligent multi-pronged approach to winning the battle against heroin,” said Murray. “We must have more police on the streets, increased investigatory resources for detectives, treatment for those who are suffering from addiction, education for young people and tough prosecution of drug dealers.”
“Treatment and intervention are key elements in the battle on heroin and all drugs,” said Zysman. “If we are to prevent heroin abuse from spiraling out of control, we must make treatment services readily available to those who are suffering with addiction.”
“Today we are calling for a task force on heroin to be formed that will include all stakeholders on the issue,” concluded Murray. “Our town has stepped up and has increased funding for treatment and intervention. We are also developing educational materials for our kids. But, a key to conquering the scourge of heroin is to have an increase in the number of police officers and detectives on the street to combat this serious issue.”