WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday a new state-wide initiative to help stamp out the recent rise in heroin use.
The multi-faceted approach includes the addition of 100 experienced investigators to the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), nearly doubling the number of troopers currently serving in the unit.
Additionally, the state will launch an unprecedented effort to make supplies of naloxone, a leading overdose antidote, available to all first responder units in the State.
“Today, New York State is taking a major step forward in the fight against heroin," Cuomo said in a statement. "By nearly doubling the State Police’s drug enforcement units with the addition of more than 100 seasoned investigators we are going above and beyond to combat this deadly drug.
“Additionally, providing supplies of naloxone to all first responder units and raising awareness through our SUNY and CUNY campuses will save lives in communities across the State.”
There are five regional CNETs deployed across the state to assist local police with areas blighted by drug trafficking and related street crimes. Through CNET, specially trained State Police undercover narcotics enforcement personnel are available upon request to assist any police agencies north of New York City. CNET personnel fill a critical void for many rural, suburban and small city police departments, which typically lack the personnel or resources to maintain their own trained undercover narcotics units.
“Heroin use, heroin sales and related heroin drug overdoses have become a widespread problem that simply must be addressed," State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said in a statement. "A crisis this large must be combated on all fronts. I am pleased that the governor has committed the necessary resources needed to meet that challenge.”
In addition to the increased state police presence, the Governor also announced the launch of an awareness and support campaign involving all SUNY campuses that includes making heroin awareness part of every incoming student orientation.
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