COLUMBUS—Southwest Ohio State Senators Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati), Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) and Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) this week added their names to a list of leaders who are advocating for additional state funding to assist local law enforcement in combating the heroin problem affecting southwest Ohio.

The Cincinnati Police Department has applied for an Ohio Drug Law Enforcement Grant to help bridge a gap in funding for costly electronic surveillance during drug investigations. The funding also provides for additional law enforcement personnel to assist in the efforts.

“The growth in heroin addiction is devastating to the families and communities of southwestern Ohio, and we all need to work together to find a solution," said Terhar. "This grant would be a tremendous resource to our local law enforcement in their efforts to combat the substance abuse problem that has extraordinarily affected Hamilton County.”

In August of 2016, Cincinnati experienced a record week of overdoses as a result of fentanyl and carfentanil being mixed with heroin. During a six-day span, the number of reported heroin overdoses climbed to a staggering 174.

"In order to see real progress in the fight against heroin addiction, we must redouble our support for law enforcement," said Senator Steve Wilson. "This means adequately equipping those combating the problem so that we can save more Ohioans from this devastating epidemic."

Ohio now ranks fourth in the nation for heroin related overdoses, with an alarming 21.5 percent increase between 2014 and 2015 alone.

“I support every effort that we can take to attack the opioid epidemic in Ohio," said Senator Cecil Thomas. "We are facing a crisis in our cities, counties and communities. We need more resources to fight the traffickers and more resources to treat the addicts.”

This collaborative effort and grant application has received the support of the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Police Department, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cincinnati, and the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.

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