Here, we had the pleasure to sit down with Lt. Detective Patrick Glynn, who has a lifetime of experience in narcotics and as a police officer. Lt. Glynn talks about his history with South Shore Drug Task Force in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Lieutenant Detective Patrick Flynn: I’ve been in narcotics for 25 years. I’ve been a police officer for 33 years. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, we were part of the South Shore Drug Task Force. And it worked very well. We were strictly enforcement level. After a period of time it began to dissolve, and it lay dormant for a few years. We came up with the idea to be the host community here in Quincy and revive it and get every community that feeds in to Quincy District Court to be part of it, so that the officers – much like a force multiplier – where a smaller community may only have one or two drug detectives, now they have fifty. It just seemed to make sense.
Coming Together to Help Tackle the Problem
We pull resources to go out on the street and to enforce laws, but also to identify people that have a substance use disorder. We give them a card with a program from our district attorney’s office in Norfolk County. This allows them to go to Bay State Community Services, which is our outreach program, and which gets them free services, allows them to enter into an inpatient program, or whatever services they need. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s custom-tailored to their specific needs. We work independent from each other as separate police departments and drug control units. But when the need occurs, we all pull together. If the need arises, if there’s an investigation going on, what we end up doing is we pull resources of four or five communities–or all eight communities if necessary–to handle that situation. And then we adjust to what that specific department needs.
Moving Forward to Save People
In 2017, we had 32 deaths. But we went from 361 overdoses to 277 in ‘18, which was a pretty significant drop. But again, it’s getting the education out there and then you gotta maintain it. Otherwise we’re gonna slide back and we’re gonna see more deaths. The National Office of Drug Control Policy at the White House deemed us an advocate for action back in 2013 and stated that we were the pioneers of Narcan. I’d like to think – hope – that we might be the pioneers in just gathering information together, helping people, no matter what community they’re from. And move forward for the end result of saving people.
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