Sep 9, 2016 11:00 AM

Manchester officials respond to critism of NH's opioid battle in open letter

MANCHESTER — A letter has been released from several officials and people battling the opioid crisis in Manchester in response to the criticism towards them within the political race.

Manchester officials are taking "meaningful" action in order to make a positive impact on this epidemic.

The letter explains that the efforts of officials should not be slighted due to ongoing issues popping up daily. A part of the solution comes based on the acknowledging the progress that has been made thus far.

Political accusations allegedly highlight the concerning rates regarding crime and overdoses but don't explain the difference since extensive measures have been implemented in order to stop and/or control this epidemic.

"In addition, despite political claims that crime has risen 19 percent in Manchester, the truth is that the latest statistics show crime has dropped by 22 percent over the same period one year ago, which is attributed to cutting edge use of predictive analytics and hardworking law enforcement officers," the letter reads. "Are we satisfied? Not at all, but this shows that our efforts to cut drug activity, arrest dealers and prevent overdose deaths are paying off. The number of overdoses year over year in August have dropped. We are making progress."

Officials urge their constant progress rather than the persistent backtrack that challenges the community and its' efforts.

"Words matter and many citizens fail to see a difference between political claims and the world in which we live, work and raise our families," it reads. "There are individual stories behind [these] statistics. We are concerned about any loss of life in our community and no increase is acceptable, but it’s critical to examine the facts behind these numbers and not conveniently blanket our city’s crime story with misleading statistics."

The letter concludes by emphasizing their non-partisan role in the community and their role to serve and protect the community. They pride themselves in the good things that are happening relative to the heroin crisis. The detailed events that occur around Manchester was a pertinent detail in writing this letter and the correct details regarding the crisis were intended to be corrected for the public to see and understand.

There were several officials that came together to enforce this letter and its' content. Chief Nick Willard, Manchester Police Department, Chief Dan Goonan, Manchester Fire Department, Christopher Stawasz, Regional Director, AMR Maine, New Hampshire, Mark Roy, Evita Castillo, William Clifford, Steve Spain, and Scott Spradling, Manchester Police Commission.

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