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County Board Adds Investigator to Combat Heroin, Asks Cuomo to Declare State of Emergency

Written By Editor on 9/18/16 | 9/18/16

The County Board of Supervisors made two major steps to combating the rising tide of heroin abuse in Schoharie County. Sheriff Tony Desmond implored the board members to provide funding for a new position to fight heroin's spread.

Sheriff Desmond requested that the board hire an investigator. The Personnel and Finance Committee earlier decided to defer a decision until more information was found. The Committee requested this delay to determine if other factors were needed, including  Mental Health, Social Services and Probation.

The Board members voted to give Sheriff Desmond authority to hire the investigator. Supervisor Bill Federice from Conesville asked if the county should request additional support from the state. He then read a draft letter for Governor Cuomo to attack the heroin epidemic in similar scale as the state did Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

The letter, sent to the Schoharie News, describes the issue as, "Heroin addiction and the crime which comes with it has become the number one issue in upstate New York." There is a request for, "Immediate and substantial increases in resources for drug counseling, rehabilityation, mental health assistance, law enforcement, first responders, and especially drug education in our school."

Supervisor Federice's letter highlighted many issues faced by local governments: "Many of our communities are struggling with an ever increasing tax burden on our citizens while trying to meet the tax cap. This is unsustainable."

The letter closes with an forceful tone: "Anything less than an all-out commitment by New York State will prove to be insufficient."

The entire Board of Supervisors signed the letter, which will be sent to the Governor.
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