From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
This week, Sheriff Gahler announced the creation of a workgroup geared towards addressing heroin overdose prevention efforts in Harford County. HOPE (Heroin Overdose Prevention and Enforcement) for Harford will consist of 12 members from all segments of the community who will review current policy and protocol on addressing the growing heroin epidemic in Harford County.
The first six members of the group were appointed by Sheriff Gahler and we are now opening up an application process for citizen volunteers who are interested in helping stop the spread of heroin in our community. The statics are staggering; seven fatal heroin overdosed have already occurred in Harford County this year. An additional, thirty four nonfatal overdoses were reported in Harford County during that same time. The drug NARCAN, used to reverse the side effects of an overdose, has been administered 16 times to save lives. HOPE for Harford will be a key tool in developing public safety solutions to the issues we are facing.
Since January 1, 2015, Sheriff Gahler has made significant strides to eradicate heroin in our community. The use of heroin is not only a public health concern but also an issue affecting crime and safety in our neighborhoods.
To that end, Sheriff Gahler has made a number of protocol and policy changes that have changed the way we respond and investigate heroin overdoses. Bringing the community together to understand the next steps we must take, is a critical part of ending heroin use and investigating the dealers.
Any members of the Harford County community who would like to join Sheriff Gahler and wish to serve on the HOPE for Harford workgroup are encouraged to apply. Applications are on the website. If you have any questions, please contact Erik Robey, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Community and Legislative Affairs, at 443-567-7100 or Robeye@harfordsheriff.org. The Sheriff will select six additional members of the community to serve on the workgroup. All applications are due by April 17th. The first meeting will be held on April 22, 2015.