Staten Island DA to Get $3.6M to Help Battle Heroin Epidemic

Staten Island will get $3.6 million to help battle the heroin epidemic that's claimed the lives of 51 people in the borough so far this year, city officials said.

The city budget for the new fiscal year is proposing $22 million go to the five borough district attorneys, and Staten Island would share in $3.6 million of that, according to the mayor's office. 

The money is expected to go toward enhanced staffing in the narcotics and investigations bureaus and an incarceration-alternative drug treatment program.

Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon has been pressing the mayor and City Council for new funding for a program that would send addicts to treatment, the I-Team reported last month. He requested roughly $1 million. 

With a budget increase of nearly three times what he asked, McMahon said the investment gives his office the tools and resources in "the fight of our generation with the heroin scourge crippling Staten Island." 

The money will also help secure resources to reduce gun-related and other violent crimes, and enhance the domestic violence unit. 

McMahon told the I-Team last month that overdose deaths from heroin and other opiates are on track to increase by 50 percent this year on Staten Island, and there weren't enough resources to combat the frightening trend.

"It's an emergency," he said at the time. "We need help now."

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