County officials announce initiative against heroin abuse
28, 2015 Sara Gollner NWI.com
VALPARAISO | Porter County authorities pledged Tuesday to step up efforts to
investigate all heroin overdoses and share information with other agencies.
County Sheriff David Reynolds announced at a news conference Tuesday an
initiative in which all Porter County law enforcement offices will follow the
same procedures when handling overdose cases, both fatal and non-fatal.
mission, officials said, is to investigate drug overdoses by identifying,
targeting, arresting, and prosecuting individuals and organizations responsible
for providing illegal drugs that result in death or serious physical injury.
to make sure everyone is doing the same thing," said Sgt. Larry LaFlower, Porter
County Sheriff's Department public information officer.
effort will involve all city and town police departments, the Porter County's
prosecutors office, the Porter County drug unit and Porter County's coroner's
office, as well as representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the
United States Attorney's Office and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
organizations will work together to investigate every overdose case in hopes to
locate the source of the substances.
of this task force is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the overdose
deaths that we know are happening anywhere between every one to every two weeks
in Porter County," said Ryan Holmes, public information officer for the U.S.
Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Indiana.
Information from these investigations will be analyzed by the DEA and HIDTA,
which will share it with the Porter County Drug Task Force. These cases will be
recorded by the Heroin Overdose Response Teams and disseminated to the
1 objective is to ascertain the source of the heroin and put a stop to it,"
protocols have been approved by the head of each law enforcement agency with the
understanding that cooperation and feedback are paramount for success, Reynold
Capp, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, said he's heard talk
of implementing a similar procedure in the past, and this initiative should
serve as a model for other counties in northern Indiana.
scene is a crime scene," Capp said. "There are many, many potential evidentiary
leads that we can glean from an overdose scene. It doesn't matter where it
happens, it has to be looked at and handled the same way."
are over 200 years of administrative and investigatory experience here today,"
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said. "This group has the ability to dictate
policy and direction for its respective departments and is another example of
committed law enforcement professionals working for the betterment of our
communities. Heroin is an epidemic and we are all determined to make a
significant dent in that struggle."