Commissioner: Number of Valley Stream drug fatalities are dropping

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VALLEY STREAM -

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder was in Valley Stream Wednesday to announce that drug fatalities in the community are dropping.

Ryder attributes the drop to efforts through “Operation Natalie,” named after Natalie Ciappa, from Massapequa, who died of a heroin overdose 10 years ago. 

Since Jan. 1, 2017, Nassau police say there were 51 overdoses in Valley Stream – five of which were fatal. Police also said they made 55 drug arrests during a four-day sweep last week.

“Over the next 60 days, we will monitor the health of this community,” said Ryder. “We'll look to see if overdose trends go up or down.”

He says a report will be issued after the 60 days are up.

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, of the Family and Children's Association, called the decline of overdoses “a sign of hope.” He also said that people should not “lose the urgency associated with the problem.”

The commissioner has already performed overdose analysis in Massapequa, Farmingdale, East Meadow, Hicksville, Levittown and Baldwin. He says overdoses countywide are also down about 28 percent.

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