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U.S. Drug Crisis and Police-Community Unity.

Terry Walsh, fire deputy chief in Portland, Maine, responds to a possible heroin overdose by an 18-year-old man on July 4. Illustrates HEROIN, (category a), by Marc Fisher (c) 2015 The Washington Post. Moved Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson)

Terry Walsh, fire deputy chief in Portland, Maine, responds to a possible heroin overdose by an 18-year-old man on July 4. Illustrates HEROIN, (category a), by Marc Fisher (c) 2015 The Washington Post. Moved Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015.  CREDIT to : Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. America’s drug pandemic demands a collaboration of our police and community to remedy the crisis.

We must rise to the occasion and use innovative, cutting-edge new initiatives.

One initiative taking place in Bergen County, New Jersey is worthy of praise.

At three police stations, strategically located in the north, central, and south sectors of the county, addicts have hope.  They are able to turn in their drugs, and enter a recovery program without facing criminal charges.

The initiative, under the leadership of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal, is titled the Heroin Addiction Recovery Team (HART).

During walk-in hours at Mahwah, Paramus, and Lyndhurst police departments, a police officer in collaboration with a clinician will assist people in registering for recovery treatment.

“No community in Bergen County is immune, it affects young and old, males and females alike,” said Grewal at a press conference on the initiative.

“Our traditional law enforcement response to this problem is not working,” Grewal said. “This epidemic requires a collaborative response between law enforcement, health care professionals, hospitals, counselor’s, all under one roof.”

In another initiative in Martinsburg, West Virginia, police have collaborated with the Berkeley County Schools and Shepherd University,…READ ARTICLE HERE