- Associated Press - Friday, February 17, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Burlington officials and community partners are teaming up to combat a spike in opioid-related deaths.

Vermont saw a 38 percent increase in opioid-related deaths from 2015 to 2016.

Mayor Miro Weinberger joined the city’s police chief and other officials Thursday to announce plans to increase data collection and sharing among agencies in order fight the growing crisis.

Police in Burlington are partnering with police in South Burlington and Winooski. They’ll meet biweekly to discuss cases and concerns and will identify individuals engaged in risky behavior, who could hurt themselves or others or who need treatment, housing or social services.

Health officials will update county-level data on opioid-related deaths every month instead of every year.

Chittenden County prosecutors will also begin tracking overdose deaths.

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