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Martinsville-Henry County worst in the state for opioid, heroin overdoses

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - "We're coming after you. We are coming after you. We are going to be relentless in our pursuit," Martinsville Police Chief Sean Dunn emphasized at a press conference held Thursday morning to discuss the department's efforts to combat opioid and heroin overdoses.

Dunn wants the community to know that his department is going to continue doing everything in its power to crack down on drugs in the city.

"We are not finished. We have another drug operation underway as we speak," Dunn explained.

Martinsville Commonwealth Attorney H. Clay Gravely IV said working with the police department has been a rewarding experience and offered a strong message of his own.

"My office is not going to stop prosecuting you. Every time you go out there's a better than good chance someone's already watching," Gravely said.

At Thursday's conference, Dunn discussed the first operation, which began at the end of 2016 when the department noticed a spike in opioid and heroin overdoses.

He began discussing with local health officials how to address the problem

In November, the area ranked seventh in the state for opioid and heroin overdoses per capita.

In December, the area rose to fourth and as of Thursday was number one.

"We ultimately created an opioid task force, which is a subcommittee of Drug Free Martinsville Henry County," said Dunn. "We've also asked local religious leaders, Fire Chief Ted Anderson and others to be a part of this effort to specifically address the opioid problem."

Dunn said he cannot thank his investigators and especially the community enough for the continued support of the department's effort.

"Our community members are telling us what's going on in the community and asking us for help. Some of our citizens have even placed themselves in great danger to help us make cases," said Chief Dunn.

More arrests are expected in the coming months.


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