Federal legislation proposes more funding to fight opioid epidemic


GOSHEN – Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler says 70
percent of all crime committed in the county has some ties to illegal

With that startling statistic in mind, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Tuesday announced he has introduced legislation that would create a Department
of Justice grant program to fund pre-booking diversion programs in counties
designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

They would include all of Maloney’s district – the counties
of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Westchester.

Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden, president of the Orange County
Police Chief’s Association, was with Maloney and other local police
chiefs in Goshen to back the proposal. Worden said allowing police the
discretion to offer non-violent drug addicts diversionary programs would
save money as compared to the cost of the criminal booking process and
it could help people escape the cycle of drug abuse of crime to feed it.

Maloney proposed the legislation after studying similar programs in Gloucester,
Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington and Albany, New York.

Local police departments do not necessarily have to wait for federal funding.
The congressman said they can implement the program at any time on their


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