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Oct 25, 2015 11:32 AM

Nashua police join law enforcement initiative sharing data on drug overdoses

NASHUA - Police in Nashua are joining an initiative that has law enforcement agencies sharing data on drug overdoses and analyzing the information to try to determine where and who the drugs are coming from.

According to The Telegraph of Nashua, the effort began in early May and involves the N.H. State Police, Manchester police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Southern New Hampshire High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

"It's a database that the federal system has, and we will work more closely together," Nashua police Lt. Kevin Rourke said. "Nashua is just starting up doing it," he said.

In Nashua, there have been 175 drug overdoses as of Oct. 13, with 21 of them fatal. Last year, the city saw a record 124 overdoses, 17 of them deadly.

Patrol officers, who often are the first to respond to calls for possible overdoses, are now asked to look for evidence at the scene and not wait for the coroner or medical examiner to take over the case.

Anything indicating that high-purity heroin or the synthetic opioid fentanyl was on the street and where it might be coming from would be shared with other police agencies.

This could provide critical information that otherwise would take weeks or months for toxicology tests to confirm - time in which many more overdoses and deaths could occur, law enforcers said.

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