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Two Police Chiefs Perspectives on the Opioid Crisis

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
1 page
In this 4-minute video and accompanying transcript, Police Chief Richard Biehl from Dayton (Ohio) and Police Chief Brandon del Pozo from Burlington (Vermont) discuss the challenges of achieving the institutional changes needed to address the opioid crisis, as well as the changes and outcomes made in their own agencies.
Chief Biehl notes the increase in drug-related deaths in his jurisdiction due to the opioid epidemic. This led to his agency requiring that first-responder police officers be equipped with the life-saving Naloxone drug to revive persons believed to be suffering from an opioid overdose. He also mentions his jurisdiction's insufficiencies in medication- assisted treatment for opioid users, bed space, detox space, and treatment for those motivated to seek it. The push for change in addressing the opioid epidemic in Dayton focused on changing a fragmented, decentralized response system into a coordinated multidisciplinary system for identifying and treating opioid abusers. Chief del Pozo notes the circumstance in his small city of multiple institutions (police and other criminal justice agencies, emergency medical technicians, hospitals, and drug treatment services) being unprepared for a coordinated response to the opioid epidemic. He describes evidence-based efforts to develop and manage an interagency response to the opioid crisis in Burlington.

Date Published: May 1, 2019