City officials hire new environmental police officers to combat opioid crisis

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City officials announced the hiring of new environmental police officers to help combat the opioid crisis in the South Bronx.

Bronx Councilwoman Diana Ayala says her office has received numerous complaints about children having to step over discarded syringes in Mott Haven.

Officials made the announcement Tuesday at 145th Street and Third Avenue. The Department of Sanitation added six officers to its force, who are specially trained to pick syringes up off of public sidewalks.

"Young children in this community are hopping and skipping over discarded syringes every morning on their way to school. This is unacceptable and warrants immediate action by the city, " said Ayala.

"That's just not acceptable, we need to do a better job of making sure we get these cleared away, " said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

Community members are instructed not to touch the needles and to report discarded syringes to 311. The goal is to rectify the problem within 24 hours.

New officers will not be patrolling, only responding to complaints.

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