Aldermen Seek Coordinated Effort To Combat Opioid Crisis

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago City Council has urged a coordinated response to the region’s opioid crisis.

Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th), who said too many people are dying or being hospitalized for drug addictions in his West Side community.

“When this high volume of drug usage fuels what we’re combating everyday – drugs, gangs, violence – it happens in our communities because of the surge of drugs in our community,” he said.

Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th), a former police officer, agreed the solution is teamwork.

“Being a police officer for a few years on the West Side, you definitely see the need for a coordinated effort between the state, federal, and local levels of police; as well as resources,” he said.

The resolution adopted by the City Council urges President Donald Trump and Gov. Bruce Rauner to officially declare the opioid crisis a national and state public health emergency, respectively. It also requests the president and governor implement coordinated responses to the epidemic.

The resolution also calls for Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Jackson, Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago, and Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita to testify at a public hearing on the city’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

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