The governor of West Virginia has called in the National Guard to work hand-in-hand with the Huntington Police Department in an effort to curb the out-of-control opioid epidemic.
Huntington has double the national average of overdoses and has been nicknamed the overdose capital of America, according to Fox News.
“I don’t think there is a police department in America that has all the resources they need,” Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial told Fox. “It is a complex problem and it needed a complex solution.”
The Guard is helping local authorities by providing resources like their helicopters for reconnaissance and aerial support during drug busts and manpower for working hotlines and analytical support. Guardsmen are working on computers inside the Huntington PD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, allowing the department to deploy more officers on the street.
“We are solving a problem in our country,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, told Fox News. “And, at the same time, making sure we have the highest level of readiness to respond to something else that may be out there, somewhere else in the world.”
“[This] is a bold action but, you know what, we need to take action and we are doing that,” said U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.V.