LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)- Tuesday morning District Attorney Heather Adams appeared before the Lancaster County Commissioners to request opioid settlement funds for two positions, including a community prosecutor and a county detective assigned to the Drug Task Force.
“We are protecting the community from substance abuse,” Lancaster County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino said.
These are two existing positions, but without funds, the positions aren’t sustainable. $193,000 is available from a national opioid legal settlement from Johnson and Johnson. Commissioner D’Agostino says he’s on board.
“Both of them are positions that are very important to the community in terms of helping to solve the opioid epidemic,” said D’Agostino. “It’s plagued all over the country.”
Lancaster witnessed 175 drug overdose deaths in 2017. In 2022, that number went down to 105 deaths.
Sean McBryan from the office of the DA says, “The Community Prosecutor handles all the county’s treatment courts including Drug Treatment Court, Veterans Court, and the Mental Health Court.”
He goes on to describe the duties of the county detective.
“The detective with the Drug Task Force is tasked with overseeing the County’s Drug Take-Back program where residents can discard unused medications,” McBryan said in a statement.
D’Agostino views this as an opportunity to help decrease drug usage.
“It’s also important to work on the other side which is taking the drugs off the street,” D’Agostino said.
The county commissioners will conduct an official vote Wednesday morning.