Heroin targeted by county, SIPD

A new public education and enforcement effort is underway tocombat heroin county-wide, an issue that made headlines last weekas the Shelter Island Police Department confiscated 78 packets ofthe drug during a felony arrest on December 14.

Last week Suffolk Executive Steve Levy announced a new actionplan to address the heroin epidemic, a plan supported by lawenforcement officials, treatment providers, health care advocates,business owners and community leaders.

Mr. Levy’s initiative will revolve around three main themes:education, law enforcement and support/treatment. The action planprovides student outreach, significant law enforcement efforts andnew support mechanisms for recovering users that foster socialstrength and celebrate sobriety.

A cornerstone of the program will be a new heroin/opiate taskforce within the Suffolk Police Department’s Narcotics Section. Anaccentuated partnership with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency isin the works to share expertise, resources and information in themutual fight against heroin.

In addition, the program includes a resource guide called HELP(Heroin Education Leads to Prevention). The guide containsinformation on how to recognize signs of drug use in children, whattreatment and support options are available and how and when tocontact law enforcement.

The Shelter Island Police Department has copies of the new HELPguides available to residents. “The Shelter Island PoliceDepartment supports Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy’s effortsto combat heroin, Police Chief James Read said in a statement tothe Reporter.

The department will also continue Island substance-abuseeducation efforts through the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse ResistanceEducation) program and the town’s Communities That Careprogram.

“Prior to County Executive Levy’s plan, the Shelter IslandPolice Department has recognized that there are pockets of heroinuse and addiction in our community, Chief Read said, adding, “Weare actively working on cases to help stem the flow of this drugonto our Island. We continue to work with the district attorney’sEast End Drug Task Force on developing heroin cases to bolster ourenforcement efforts.

“This is an extremely dangerous and highly addictive drug, ChiefRead stated. “The Police Department would gladly accept anyassistance and information that would enhance our enforcementefforts.