Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called Sunday on the Drug Enforcement Agency for help fighting the rise of opioid use and drug overdoses in the city.
He asked the agency to deploy one of four new special heroin enforcement teams to the state.
“They’re SWAT teams, they’re well-trained, they’re special agents, and they’ll work with our local police forces in New York, Long Island, and the suburbs to stop the heroin and the fentanyl from coming in.”
Schumer said he has allocated about $12.5 million in the 2017 budget to help the agency form these teams, but the proposal could still take several weeks to be approved.
Each team would consist of more than 40 members dedicated to fighting heroin trafficking, and they would be sent to areas designated by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The city is considered a major distribution hub of heroin, which some opioids mimic.
Health officials said there were more than 750 overdose deaths involving heroin last year.