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East Moline Police and Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office introduce new programs to fight opioid epidemic

EAST MOLINE---To combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, the East Moline Police Department committed to participating in a year-round drug take back program Wednesday, January 24.

“We will do a drug take back at any time. So, if an individual was prescribed a narcotic drug or an opioid drug for pain, we would ask them to turn that in,” says Lt. John Showalter, from the East Moline Police Department.

The department will also join the Rock Island County Sheriff’s efforts to roll out a safe passage program for the entire county next week.

“An individual with drug problem or addiction can come in to any police department at Rock Island, East Moline, Moline, Silvis, Milan and the Sheriff’s Department and ask for help,” says Showalter.

The responding officer will then help enroll the addict into a treatment facility somewhere in the state. Centers in Peoria, Rockford and Bloomington are some of those facilities available to people in the Quad Cities.

Lee and Dixon counties have already implemented the safe passage program a few years ago. The Rock Island Sheriff’s department says the two counties have already seen improvements.

In 2016, Rock Island County reported 6 opioid related deaths, that number spiked to 16 in 2017.

“You do worry because obviously it is someone you care deeply about and you want to see them get better,” says Connie Cornmesser, from East Moline.

Sheriff Bustos will officially announce the rollout to the Safe Passage program Tuesday, January 30.