- - Monday, March 11, 2019

Washington Times Justice Department reporter Jeff Mordock joins This Morning with Gordon Deal:

N.Y. police now treat drug overdose sites as crime scenes in bid to take down dealers

Law enforcement officials in western New York now will treat drug overdose sites as crime scenes, pushing police to collect more information from each incident in hopes of building more serious cases against those who sell the drugs.

The first-of-its-kind initiative was launched this month in Erie County, New York, home to Buffalo, the state’s second most populous city. Like many other older industrial cities, Buffalo has been ravaged by the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Officers who respond to fatal and nonfatal overdose calls will have to input specific investigative data into their patrol car computers and follow new evidence-gathering procedures for processing the scenes, noting 11 unique pieces of information such as the drugs’ packaging.

Authorities hope to link multiple overdoses to a single dealer based on those details, enabling prosecutors to pursue more stringent charges against dealers, including homicide if an overdose results in death.

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