Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil deputized members of the county's heroin task force Thursday morning so they are able to make arrests in communities outside their jurisdictions.
The purpose of deputizing them is to further disrupt the flow the drug, which continues to have a strong hold on the area.
Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan is leading the effort.
"What's big about this is no matter where you are dealing heroin, no matter where your user goes, it's going to come back to you," Synan said.
The task force looks to not only make arrests, but save lives and break addictions. According to Synan, task force membes are "going to be giving voices to the loved ones - 'Yeah, you know what you were getting into, but I'm sure you didn't have this idea that you were not going to succumb that day.'"
Synan says eventually this task force will form regional, state and national partnerships to fight heroin on a bigger scale.
In May, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil appealed to the public in a series of meetings, as WVXU reported.
The heroin problem has reached epidemic levels, nationally as well as here in our region. Hamilton County saw more than 170 deaths due to drug poisonings last year.