BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Several local organizations, community partners, and law enforcement members are teaming up with the hopes that a new initiative will encourage members of the community to come forward and turn in known drug dealers, to combat overdose deaths in Baton Rouge.
The ‘One Call, Save Many Community Overdose Prevention Initiative Fund’ is a community-funded effort to allocate money to Crime Stoppers as a reward for individuals who provide information leading to an arrest of an opiate/opioid dealer, according to organizers.
Donations can be made directly to Crime Stoppers.
Officials met to discuss the new initiative Thursday, February 17 at the Baton Rouge Police Department Headquarters.
“We were just tired of burying our loved ones, our families, and our friends,” said Tonja Myles, a community advocate.
“It’s well over 300 cases. Probably approaching 350,” said Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Coroner.
That number represents how many of our neighbors in East Baton Rouge Parish, died of an overdose in 2021. It’s more than the number of murders in the parish.
“But those people who are selling that crap and that poison, and you know you’re doing it, you need to be held accountable,” said Myles.
The new overdose prevention fund, ‘One Call Save Many,’ has a goal to get drug dealers off the streets of your neighborhood.
“If you know somebody out there who’s selling drugs, who’s selling fentanyl, that’s killing people. We want you to call,” said Chief Murphy Paul, BRPD.
“And what concerns me the most, is now fentanyl is being mixed in other drugs,” said Dr. Clark.
Officials say this isn’t necessarily a war on drugs or addiction itself, but an opportunity to offer treatment and resources to people who are struggling as well.
“None of us in this room who decided to do drugs, our dream was not to be a crackhead or a drug dealer. Life happens, trauma happens, and so that’s why we’re doing a holistic approach,” said Myles.
All they’re asking you to do, is to call Crimestoppers. You can even get a reward if you provide any information that can lead to the arrest of an opioid or opiate dealer.
“There is a connection between homicides and drugs,” said Chief Paul.
The Recovery Community-Led Coalition will also be canvassing neighborhoods that are hotspots for drugs and overdoses, to try to get their message out.
“The goal is to continue to get that information out to the people that need it, and to go to the, not them to come to us, but to go to them,” said Myles.
Call Crimestoppers at 344-STOP if you have any information.
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