St. Joseph County Drug Investigation Unit to close at year's end

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.--The St. Joseph County Drug Investigation Unit (DIU) will close on January 1, 2020.

The announcement was made during a press conference on Monday morning at the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office.

According to St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter, the taskforce that started in 2016 was successful in reducing the number of drug overdose-related deaths in the county.

The prosecutor says the closure will happen due to the need for resources in other areas, including response to violent crime in the county.

"Right now, because of the violence we've had in our community, we want to take those resources that we've been utilizing in the Drug Investigation Unit and have them investigate the violence that is occurring in our community," Cotter said.

Individual jurisdictions will now investigate drug overdoses.

The eight officers who make up the DIU will return to their departments.

According to the DIU, in 2016, there were 58 confirmed overdose deaths and in 2018 there were 52 confirmed overdose deaths.

In 2019, year-to-date, there were 12 confirmed overdose deaths, according to the DIU.

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