One of the features of my 2019 Proposed Budget is a renewed focus on the needs of law enforcement and public safety. We are bringing on two new Sheriff’s Patrol Officers to help in the fight against opioid addiction. These Officers will be dedicated to two task forces that deal specifically with the opioid crisis.
As a former member of law enforcement, with a 20 plus year career in the NYPD, I saw it all back in the day. While we know now we cannot arrest our way out of this crisis, law enforcement officers are a key piece to solving this problem. I have also seen this up close and personal with young people I have coached and unfortunately lost.
The opioid crisis is a multi-faceted issue that is taking a terrible toll on our communities. We cannot afford to ignore it any longer. We will continue to work hand in glove with our partners in and out of government such as the Departments of Mental Health, Social Services, Probation and Veterans Services, Rockland BOCES, the District Attorney’s office, the Sheriff’s Office, local law enforcement, pharmacy chains and medical professionals along with community based organizations such as the Mental Health Association, RCADD and others to address a scourge that is killing too many of our young people.
These new officers are one more piece that fits into our comprehensive approach.
We are also once again offering residents the opportunity to empty their medicine cabinets of unused prescription drugs before they fall into the wrong hands. Another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at selected pharmacies in Rockland.
The Drug Take Back held in April was extremely successful. 164 New York Police Departments participated at 226 sites and collected almost 40,000 pounds of drugs. A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, estimates 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
In addition to keeping these drugs off the streets disposing of medications, you no longer need by handing them over to the proper authorities also protects the environment by keeping prescription drugs out of our water.
I hope all Rockland residents with unused prescription medication can participate in this important initiative. Residents will be able to bring medications to the following locations where police will be on hand to take the substances and dispose of them in an environmentally safe way:
• New City: CVS Pharmacy, 280 S Main Street
• Bardonia: CVS Pharmacy, 300 NY-304
• Garnerville: CVS Pharmacy, 12 W Ramapo Road
• Stony Point: Walgreens, 135 S Liberty Dr
• Spring Valley: Walgreens, 208 E. Route 59
• Nyack: Walgreens, 16 Route 59
Thank you to our partners at CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens for stepping up to help fight this public health crisis. This is an opportunity for all of us to help prevent drug addiction and opioid deaths. I hope you will all join me in taking part.