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Nassau police announce 37 drug arrests in opioid crackdown in Valley Stream

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks about the

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks about the county's efforts to fight opioid abuse on Wednesday in Valley Stream. Credit: Howard Schnapp

As part of a technology-assisted drive to deal with the ongoing opioid crisis in Nassau County, police said they made 37 drug arrests in Valley Stream during a four-day period last week.

Valley Stream is one of seven communities so far this year that police have pinpointed — using real-time mapping technology — as having a higher than usual number of overdoses, officials said.

Since Jan. 1, 2017, there have been 51 overdoses in Valley Stream, five of them fatal, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Wednesday. During the same period, there were 195 larcenies involving automobiles — a crime associated with drug users.

Of the 37 arrests, police said, all were drug users except one, who was a low-level drug dealer.

“We’re making a difference every single day,” Ryder said at a news conference with the village mayor and other officials at the Valley Stream Fire Department.

Legis. William Gaylor (R-Lynbrook) urged residents to call police or his office when they observed “suspicious” activities in their neighborhoods.

“The single best approach, I think, to address the drug problem here in our community is simply being aware of what’s going on; saying something if you see something, then letting the police use all the resources that they have at their disposal to combat the problem,” Gaylor said.

Wednesday's announcement was the latest update in a crackdown that has targeted Massapequa, East Meadow, Levittown, Hicksville, Baldwin and Farmingdale.

Drug overdoses that did not result in deaths have dropped 30 percent in Nassau County, the police commissioner said.

“This is the first decline we’re seeing in five years,” Ryder said.

The decreases, Ryder said, are due in large part to the police department’s use of Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, which identifies where overdoses and crimes typically committed by drug users occur. Once the hot spots are identified, officers are deployed to the areas.

The opioid crackdown resulted in 37 arrests in Valley Stream during a four-day period last week. An earlier version of this story had an incorrect number because of incorrect information from police.

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