Since taking office in 2014, District Attorney Hoovler has advocated a three-part approach to combating the heroin epidemic:
DA Hoovler believes that public officials should use their authority to educate people to stay away from drugs in the first place, and to help to provide treatment to those who are addicted. Only as a last resort should government use vigorous law enforcement to address those situations where education and treatment are ineffective, and where drug dealers and the drug epidemic are adversely affecting our communities. That three-part strategy has been adopted, first, as a matter of Orange County policy, and, later, as a matter of New York State policy.
Under DA Hoovler’s leadership, the District Attorney’s Office has been involved with other agencies in a number of programs designed to educate the public about the heroin epidemic, heroin abuse and addiction, and treatment opportunities. Most notably, in October, 2017, District Attorney Hoovler sponsored two programs entitled The Opioid Crisis: A Public Forum on Education, Treatment, and Law Enforcement.
The forums included a number of presentations from government officials and treatment professionals designed to raise awareness about the heroin epidemic and efforts to stop it. With respect to treatment, the District Attorney’s Office actively seeks to divert appropriate defendants – not including drug sellers – into treatment programs through various mechanisms, including Orange County’s three drug courts.
With respect to enforcement in those last-resort situations, the District Attorney is part of a countywide Drug Task Force, in cooperation with the Orange County Sheriff and several local police departments. Through the efforts of the Task Force, and other enforcement efforts, during District Attorney Hoovler’s tenure in office Orange County conducted a number of narcotics enforcement actions, known as “sweeps,” targeting drug sellers throughout the County.
Those efforts have resulted in 858 drug felony indictments, and brought 309 illegal drug sale prosecutions, as well as the take-down of several major narcotics distribution conspiracies.
Citizens may anonymously report illegal narcotics activity, or any crime, to the District Attorney’s Crime Tip Line, 845-291-2106.