New York Governor Adds 100 Cops to Fight Heroin

By Shawn Dwyer 06/13/14

Andrew Cuomo is the latest governor in the Northeast to take on the growing heroin epidemic.

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On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stepped into the fray and introduced an initiative designed to stem the tide of heroin addiction plaguing his state.

Cuomo proposed doubling the amount of state troopers designated to investigating narcotics crimes, supplying every first responder in the state with the heroin antidote naloxone, and making opioid awareness programs available at all State University of New York and City University of New York campuses.

“I’ll be the first to say to you: New York State has a problem with heroin addiction, and it is a growing problem,” Cuomo said in a speech on Wednesday. “In the ’70s we had a heroin epidemic. This is worse than what we went through before.”

“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,” Cuomo said in a statement released before he delivered his public remarks. “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.”

Like most other governors in the Northeast, Cuomo has taken initiative in combating a growing heroin epidemic that has plagued the region in recent years. Cuomo joins Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who has led the charge in New England by delivering a number of initiatives, including recently proposing a $20 million package to fight addiction as well as convene a summit between other New England governors.

“When it gets into our suburbs, into our rural areas, into our high schools, into our colleges, it is so much more obvious because it wasn’t there before,” said Joseph D’Amico, superintendent of the State Police. “But it’s not just a suburban problem. It’s everywhere.”

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.