(WBNG) — After the alarming spike in overdose deaths in March, the Broome County District Attorney’s Office is reporting a decline in numbers for the third quarterly report.
Nine deaths have been confirmed; down from 24 deaths in the third quarter of 2016. This comes months after there were 10 overdose deaths in March, which prompted a state of emergency in Broome County.
After six of those deaths occurred in a ten-day period, officials created a Drug Overdose Response Team to monitor and address the issue. In the event of another spike in overdoses, the team will reconvene and respond to the situation in an effort to reduce public harm.
D.A. Steve Cornwell says on top of that, his office has been partnering with multiple organizations and agencies to fight the epidemic. He says there are many tactics they’ve been using that could have resulted in this decline
“From a law enforcement perspective, we’re proactive and aggressively go after the drug dealers and we’re proactive on the demand side as well and we get people into treatments, so they stop using drugs, stop committing crimes, and stop dying,” said Cornwell. “So, we’ve seen a massive reduction in crime and overdose deaths cut by more than 50 percent.”
While Cornwell and Broome County Executive Jason Garnar find this a small victory for now and a step in the right direction, Cornwell says there’s still a lot more work to be done until that number gets down to zero.