Cecilia DowdFeb 1, 2018, 7:13 pmFeb 6, 2018, 1:57 pm

Overdose tracker uses data trail to lead police to dealers

Program also alerts first responders to drug-related emergencies

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MINEOLA — Long Island police officials are rolling out a new program that will track drug overdoses throughout Nassau County.

The program uses a mapping tool that pinpoints overdoses as they occur to alert first responders while also giving police pertinent data to crimes linked to drug use.

“The users go into their community and steal from the community, and then, from there, they use the money to buy the heroin. They may go to New York City for it. They may go to Hempstead for it. After arresting them, their cooperation will give us the dealers. They will lead us back,” Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

Commissioner Ryder says larceny from auto is one of the highest crimes in the county every year. And in 2017, he says there were about 132 deaths from opiate-related drug overdoses in Nassau.

With every overdose death in the county tracked, police officials — with assistance from family members — can get the deceased person's phone data to retrieve the last phone calls made before the person’s death. Police say one of the last numbers dialed is usually made to a dealer.

Officials say the goal of the program is to get people the help they need while reducing crime.

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