Intelligence Led Policing Used to Fight the Heroin Epidemic

Posted on May 11, 2016

According to an article in The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop recently heralded the establishment of the Heroin Overdose Response Initiative during his State of the City address as one of the area's most significant law enforcement tools.

Law Enforcement Tools | Intelligence-Led Policing & the Heroine EpidemicThe initiative has been called a collaborative endeavor of both city and county police forces to streamline and centralize the sharing of drug-related information. Previously, Columbus city police and Bartholomew County police were using totally separate systems.

The initiative combines the two distinct systems and fosters consistency in reporting, similar to what NC4™ Street Smart technology offers police agencies. What's more, it also promotes intelligence sharing and is expected to lead to a reduction in the amount of criminal activity related to drugs, as well as stem the growing tide of the Columbus-area drug problem.

Here's how it works: When either the Columbus city police or Bartholomew County police investigate a drug-related incident, the responding officers record all intelligence related to the call in a centralized database, which, of course, is then available for access by both agencies.

Unfortunately, the Columbus area is dealing with an epidemic of heroin overdoses, and the initiative was created as a way to combat that trend. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the entire country is reeling from an opioid overdose epidemic, with prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin accounting for more than 28,000 deaths in 2014. A staggering 78 people die each day in the United States from an opioid overdose. And from 2000 through 2014, almost a half a million people overdosed.

But the good news is that the initiative also is part of another trend: the use of intelligence-led policing to help in the fight on crime.

The Heroin Overdose Response Initiative shows that Columbus and Bartholomew County are headed on the right path as they begin to embrace intelligence-based policing, such as NC4 Street Smart technology, in their arsenal of law enforcement tools. To learn how your agency can do even more, contact us to find out how NC4 Street Smart is helping law-enforcement agencies around the country, as well as across the globe, quickly and securely share intelligence.

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