Opioid Response Task Force to launch in Erie County

Local News

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) When someone dies of a heroin overdose, there’s often no obvious trail of evidence for police to track where the drugs came from, but Erie County District Attorney John Flynn wants to put together an Opiod Response Task Force to encourage all local police departments to take certain steps.

“Whenever they come across an opioid death, they’re all going to have the same protocols, whether it’s Orchard Park, Tonawanda, East Aurora, Sheriff’s Department, New York Statet Polcie, Buffalo Police, whoever it may be,” said Flynn. “The protocols are going to be set forth what they should do in treating this scene as a homicide.”

It will emphasize the importance of things like preserving whatever possible drug packaging  is found at the scene to perhaps retrieve the DNA of wheover sold it. It would include obtaining permission as soon as possible from the family of the overdose victim to to allow police to do a forensic search of the victim;s cell phone as a way of tracking down recent transactions.

Flynn is expected to meet with some law enforcers this week and launch the new task force some time in February. “We will hopefully have consistent investigative procedures being done all across Erie County and hopefully countywide with all our partners in law enforcement, we can perhaps find out who sold these drugs to the victim, who gave these drugs to the victim, and if we can develop a case, we can prosecute some of these sellers and dealers and put them behind bars for murder or manslaughter.”

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