What to Know
More than 90 people have been arrested in East Meadow in a week as part of NCPD's new push to lock up criminals and educate addicts
One of the arrested was a 29-year-old teacher's aide at Woodland Middle School who was found asleep in a parked car last Wednesday
East Meadow has seen 57 overdoses, seven deaths and 69 larcenies since the beginning of this year
A Nassau County teacher's aide allegedly caught sleeping behind the wheel with THC, cocaine and other drugs in her car is among more than 90 people arrested in a week as part of a new campaign to curb opioid overdoses in a community particularly hard hit by the epidemic.
Teacher’s aide Stephanie Kalan, employed at East Meadow's Woodland Middle School, was busted last Wednesday night in Massapequa Park after cops saw her sleeping in the parked car, a black vape pen thought to contain THC on the passenger seat, authorities said at a Wednesday news briefing.
Cops allegedly also found cocaine and containers with pills believed to be amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The 29-year-old aide was arrested on possession charges and released following an initial court appearance. Attorney information wasn't immediately available for her.
News 4 has reached out to the East Meadow School District for comment.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Kalan's arrest, and the arrests of 90 other people, 77 of them on drug-related charges, stem from a new push to lock up drug dealers and users in East Meadow, which Ryder said is the second worst community in the county in terms of the opioid epidemic. East Meadow has seen 57 overdoses, seven deaths and 69 larcenies since the beginning of this year, Ryder said.
Ryder, along with Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, said authorities have been mapping on the fly as they try to isolate where people are most likely to overdose, deal and die so cops can crush the chain of supply.
"Enforcement is not enough," Singas said. "We can't arrest our way out of a crisis. We need to deal with addictions."
The campaign also includes an education and outreach component, and Singas said authorities want to eradicate any perceived stigma about asking for help. A town meeting will be held in East Meadow next week.