Nassau police unveil overdose map app

Nassau police unveil overdose map app

Nassau police unveiled a new tool Thursday in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says detectives, sergeants and first responders in the Narcotics Bureau will be entering fatal and non-fatal overdoses into a new app as a way of tracking and analyzing trends in drug activity.
The interface supports a real-time drug overdose map that officials would simply have to tap a button to update.
He says the data collected could detect sudden spikes in overdoses, which would allow them to quickly issue alerts about bad batches of heroin in circulation.
A second part of the real-time map will overlay the overdoses with crimes that police say are often committed by drug addicts looking for easy cash, like breaking into unlocked cars.

Ryder says that by pinpointing the hotspots, it will allow police to focus on the people that need to be arrested, including the dealers.

Drug addiction treatment expert Jeff Reynolds say while the map is good tool, he says local and state officials need to keep their focus on the bigger picture.

“Let’s get more serious about prevention and treatment for people in recovery so maybe one day we don't need a map,” he says.

Nassau police say there were 52 opioid overdoses during the first month of the year in the county. Six of them were fatal.