Bracco calls for task force in Broome County 'heroin crisis'

By Josh Martin

August 28, 2014 Updated Aug 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Last year, more than 30 deaths were connected to heroin and opiate overdoses in Broome County. Police said heroin has also played a part in many of the recent robberies in the area.

On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for Broome County Sheriff Chris Bracco was joined by members of the community calling for a county-wide heroin task force.

Bracco is aiming for a comprehensive approach to addressing what he called a "heroin crisis" in Broome County.

“Regardless of social status, geographic location, age or personal wealth this epidemic has touch the live of people in every corner of the county. We cannot accept this as the new normal,” said Bracco.

Current Sheriff David Harder said there are already programs in place in the fight against crime, citing a task force that has made more than 1,600 arrests and seized more than 60 handguns since the creation of the squad.

The sheriff believes that Bracco's proposed task force will not bring anything new to Broome County.

"These things are already in place. Again, the law enforcement's job is to stop the flow of drugs and it is up to the people, other than law enforcement, to give them the help from there," said Harder.

Broome County has the highest property crime rate in New York State. County officials believe drug addiction has had an influence on bringing Broome County to the top of the list.

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