Binghamton police captain says task force needed to combat heroin use

Published 08/28 2014 04:13PM

Updated 08/28 2014 05:21PM

The Democratic nominee for Broome County's Sheriff said there needs to be a task force formed to help combat the heroin epidemic.

Binghamton Police Captain Chris Bracco said members on it would include police, treatment and addiction specialists, government officials, the district attorney, clergy, doctors, educators, and some community members.

Bracco said the task force would be an important step along with boosting resources to fight heroin, promoting greater cooperation between police agencies, and holding drug dealers accountable when their clients die from overdoses.

Bracco outlined his plan near the Broome County Jail.

"Although I'm tough on crime, believe me when I say that we cannot simply arrest our way out of this. It is imperative that we assemble people with a wide variety of expertise and experience that is both creative and practical to stem the tide of access and abuse," he said.

Bracco also said the Broome County Sheriff's Office should have been represented at a state joint senate task force that looked at heroin and addiction in the Southern Tier, earlier this year, but wasn't.

Sheriff David Harder, who Bracco is running against, said he doesn't recall being invited, but tries to attend all meetings when he is.

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