Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, Nassau’s Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter and Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini announced today the creation of the Long Island Heroin Task Force, comprised of county law enforcement officers to combat the heroin epidemic that is plaguing Long Island and our nation. This announcement took place at the Nassau County Educational Heroin Summit and Rally that was sponsored by the Nassau County PBA, DAI, SOA and 1010WINS and featured government, law enforcement, school and medical experts who discussed the latest treatments to battle heroin and opiate addiction.
County Executive Mangano stated, “The Long Island Heroin Task Force will leverage the collective resources of both police departments towards the investigation into drug crimes and to apprehend those who contribute to the heroin epidemic. Together, we will conduct investigations, take down drug dealers through the sharing of intelligence and slow the flow of narcotics into our neighborhoods.”
The Nassau County Police Department will provide space for the members of the Long Island Heroin Task Force – comprised of four detectives and one supervisor – at an undisclosed location in Nassau County. Federal funds will be utilized to employ an Intel Analyst that will be embedded with the task force.
According to statistics from the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Nassau County Police Department Intelligence Unit, the Nassau County Police Department made 709 heroin arrests and 417 Opiate arrests in 2015. Comparatively, in 2014 the Nassau County Police Department made 539 heroin arrests and 369 opiate arrests. In 2015, 245 Nassau County residents experienced heroin overdoses, with 58 of those fatal and there were 115 Opiate overdoses of which 33 were fatal. Also in 2015, the Nassau County Police Department alone administered the overdose reversal agent, Narcan, 416 times. The Mangano administration has trained more than 6,000 citizens to administer Narcan.
“The dealers who flood our communities with heroin don’t care about county lines or any lines for that matter,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “That is why this historic partnership is critical to fight these criminal operations which cross jurisdictions. At the same time, we also know that law enforcement is just one part of the equation to tackle a public health crisis that is tearing apart communities one family at a time. That is why we must continue to invest in public outreach, treatment programs, as well as drugs like Narcan which can save lives and Vivitrol, which can help stem addiction.”
According to the Suffolk County Police Department, there were 1,889 heroin arrests in 2014 and 1,898 heroin arrests in 2015. In 2014 there were 109 fatal heroin overdoses and 103 fatal heroin overdoses in 2015. Also in 2014 there were 493 Suffolk County Police Department Narcan administrations with an additional 284 countywide. In 2015 there were 543 Suffolk County Narcan administrations with an additional 223 countywide.