NH towns, cities see heroin spikes
Pleading with city officials for money to hire four more police officers, Seusing said the city is on track to triple the number of heroin overdoses in 2014 over last year.
At a round table discussion last month in Derry, members of the law enforcement community from across the state talked about the startling increase in heroin overdoses and deaths.
“I need your assistance,” he told the aldermanic Budget Review Committee on Wednesday.
He only has to get authorization to hire four patrolmen.
The other positions would be staffed by converting three positions filled by police officers to civilian posts and reassigning those officers.
Drug problems are the catalyst to many crimes in the city, according to police officials.
On Monday, Merrimack police responded to a local Mobil station where a woman was found unconscious in the public bathroom with a needle next to her on the floor, according to Chief Mark Doyle.
In the last calendar year, police have responded to about 12 or 13 heroin-related overdoses, which he said is about 100 to 150 percent more than the prior year.
The heroin epidemic is not only a New Hampshire problem, but really a New England problem, according to Doyle, who said communities cannot arrest their way out of it.
In Salem, there have been an estimated 19 or 20 heroin overdoses so far this year, according to Capt. James Chase of the Salem Police Department.
Seusing said the issue in Nashua is not going away.
On April 17, Portsmouth police seized approximately $1,000 worth of heroin and made two arrests.
“Portsmouth Police have seen a significant uptick in heroin and crimes related to it over the past year,” police said in a posting on the department’s Facebook page. “A contributing factor has been the low street price of the drug when compared with the street price of its pharmaceutical counterparts.”
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