THE HEROIN DRUG CRISIS IN MIAMI
OVERDOSES FROM HEROIN LACED WITH FENTANYL HAVE BECOME A CRISIS IN THE CITY OF MIAMI.
As you can see, only 8 of the 46 deaths were women. The preponderance of the deaths were white males.
OCTOBER 13, 2016
In the Herald article, Chuck Rabin cited Fire Chief Maurice Kemp as stating that in the "first eight months of this year paramedics have administered Narcan - an opiate antidote used to combat fentanyl overdoses - to 1023."
After nine months that total as you can see above is now at 1695.
Rabin in his story cited the costs to the City for the drug Narcan increasing from $43,000 to $155,000 from 2015 to 2016. In fact, if you look at the actual numbers, the $43,000 amount that he cited for 2105 included $20,448.50 in costs that the city had not initially calculated in their budget, and the $155,600.00 cost for 2016 is only for the first 9 months. The actual costs for the entire year can easily be expected to go above $200,000.
There has been some reporting of the heroin overdose problem in Miami this year, but in talking with several reporters and others familiar with the crisis that is occurring in both the county and the city regarding these drug overdoses, they believed that there was a significant problem by the inability to get information from the city.
After I was approached to do a story about this problem, I reached out to both the Fire Department and the Police Department in an effort to get some basic statistics.
The Fire Department was quick to respond, and I believe eager to get the information out about the seriousness of the problem, because as the First responders, they, more than anyone else was aware of the growing dimensions of the problem and the havoc that these drug overdoses are creating.
The Police Department on the other hand was not as eager to comply with my request for crime stats - perhaps because they are constantly angry at my ability to get information from inside the department, and perhaps because I keep revealing embarrassing information on so many of the top brass, some of whom should have been fired long ago and others who belong in a jail cell.
Be that as it may, my effort was to try to get the latest information that I could and provide that to the citizens of the city so they would have some understanding of just how serious this current heroin/fentanyl problem is.
In the last few days I was able to get the latest numbers on drug overdoses treated by the Miami Fire Department and also information about the increase in the use and costs associated with the drug Naloxone - better known as Narcan - which is what the department uses to counter the effects of the drugs.
Some of this information also appeared in a September 16th article in the Miami Herald, but even in the short period of time since that article things have gotten worse.
Here is the information from the Miami Fire Department for the years 2015 and 2016 to date, which chronicles the number of drug overdose cases by tracking the Emergency Units from the various Fire Stations responding to calls,and their use of Narcan.
TOTAL FOR 2015: 743
TOTAL TO DATE FOR 2016: 1695
What's been most alarming are the stories of people being found passed out in cars, like the two women in the photo at the top of this story, that was the focus of a report by Amy Viteri of Channel 10, or the story in today's Miami Herald about parents found unconscious in a car with a toddler and an infant in the back seat.
When it comes to deaths from overdose, the numbers are beginning to be more than just a concern. So far this year there have been 237 deaths attributed to drug overdoses of all kinds, but mostly heroin and fentanyl, and of those 237, 46 have occurred in the City of Miami.
Here is the list of all those who died as a result of an overdose in the City of Miami
The first and foremost issue with these drug overdoses is the health and safety issues that they create not only for the people involved but also for the community at large.
Having a couple hundred people die as a result of drug overdoses in Miami-Dade County during the first 9 months of this year is rather an astounding number, all things considered.
The second issue deals with law enforcement. This is what the Miami Herald, in their September 16th article said about the current law enforcement efforts
I don't believe that it will come as a surprise if I question the competence and commitment by the Miami Police Department to aggressively deal with this problem within the city limits.
No one can argue with the Chief's claim that they don't arrest drug addicts, but it would be interesting to learn just what the department is really doing, versus the usual self-serving, smokescreen bullshit that passes for information every time he shows up before the City Commission.
My last story detailing the mismanagement of the Department's Off-Duty Office, along with the obvious unwillingness to address making the necessary changes in a timely manner - coupled with new information that I've received that some of the numbers provided to the Auditor by that office were bogus - all point to a department currently being run by a Chief, a Deputy Chief, and over 100 other senior staff and regular officers whose attention is focused on the countdown clock that will result in their retirement next year.
In addition, the Regalado administration bears real real responsibility for the decision that led to the dismantling of the Street Narcotics Unit after a series of embarrassing court cases and stories about the misbehavior and mismanagement of that unit. Several of my stories about what happened can be read HERE and HERE.
One of the reasons that prompted me to look into this issue were the complaints that I received from several folks in Overtown, who told me that their community was being inundated by white folks driving around their community looking to make a score, and that when they had gone to the Commander in charge of the Overtown District their complaints were brushed aside.
I did not fare much better in my initial efforts to get the 2015 and 2016 Crime Stats from the Police Department, and after 4 separate requests over a 13 day period, as well as a couple nasty emails to the City Manager and calls to my attorney about filing a lawsuit, I was finally able to get those stats, which upon review reveal that when it comes to drug crimes, they're not even worthy of being considered considered as a separate category, but instead are lumped in a catch-all of assorted crimes. (To review the complete reports, click HERE.)
After all the bullshit that occurred at the City Commission in recent weeks over the failed efforts to fire the City Attorney, it might behoove the Commissioners to actually bring their A game to today's Commission meeting and haul the Chief up before them and start asking really serious questions about just what is going on in the City of Miami when it comes to these heroin/fentanyl overdoses, and what is the police department doing about it, besides walking around with one thumb stuck up their ass, and in the other in their mouth and hoping nobody sees them switch thumbs.
The City Manager just extended the Chief's contract by a year claiming that he was doing so because of the Chief's leadership abilities, so maybe someone ought to really look into just what those leadership abilities are, besides sitting in his office and counting the days until he retires with his million dollar plus DROP payment and his big, six figure pension check.
While the Commissioners are at it, they might want to find out just how many of the changes that the police department promised to make about the misbehavior of the towing companies have actually been made, and why it will take them till September of 2017 to make the necessary changes to fix the problems discovered by the Independent Auditor in the Off-Duty Office?
Lastly, this is Part I or a two part series. That's because no story involving law enforcement and the expenditure of money to train cops to do a better job would be complete without a story about Miami's own corrupt State Attorney who today is sitting on $2.7 million in unspent money collected in the usual illegal ways that I previously documented in my series about the Denise Moon Memorial Fund.
It's Miami, Bitches!
A LEO AFFAIRS RESPONSE TO CHIEF LLANES COMMENTS IN THIS STORY - HERE