First responders all over Connecticut are dealing with the same problem of more and more heroin overdoses.
Officers in Enfield, and all across Connecticut, are teaming up to tackle the problem, but one reason the number of heroin overdoses is growing is because the drug seems to be everywhere.
Eyewitness News joined Enfield Police Officer Ryan Bartolucci for a patrol on Tuesday evening.
“You have to be very, very attentive. You’ve got to listen, be cognizant of all your surroundings, always keep your head on a swivel,” Bartolucci said.
He said the heroin epidemic is “causing an absolute uproar in our community because good people are dying.”
This year alone, 16 people in Enfield have died because of heroin overdoses. Another 45 folks have nearly passed away and had to be saved with Narcan.
“It's just a continuous vicious cycle that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon,” Bartolucci said, adding that the drug does not discriminate. “It's not just in certain parts of Enfield or certain parts of the country, it's everywhere.”
Officers aren't just fighting the epidemic from squad cars either. On Tuesday, a newly formed North Central Connecticut Narcotics Task Force met in Enfield to discuss short and long term strategies and share information.
“It's a big concern and all of law enforcement is aware of it, and we're dealing our best to quell it,” Bartolucci said.
Back out on patrol, officer Bartolucci knows that at least right now the problem is only getting worse.
“It seems to be at times an unstoppable epidemic here,” Bartolucci said.
The North Central Connecticut Narcotics Task Force is the first regional drug squad the area has seen in years. It will ensure more investigators, including undercover officers, are dealing with the epidemic on a daily basis.
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