Fraternal Order of Police president hopes declaration of opioid emergency leads to local action

CINCINNATI -- Fraternal Order of Police president Lt. Dan Hils grew up in the LSD era, he said; news stories about widespread illegal drug abuse weren't an unfamiliar concept. But the opioid epidemic, he said Thursday night, is unlike anything he -- or many other Americans -- could possibly have prepared themselves for.

"There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four of five years," he said. "We (in Cincinnati) are ground zero, and I believe we have been ground zero for quite some time."

That's why he said he was pleased to hear President Donald Trump (informally) declare the epidemic a national emergency Thursday morning and promise to allocate greater government resources to fighting it. 

RELATED: What President Trump wants to do about the opioid epidemic

Hils has accused local politicians on both ends of the political spectrum of sidestepping effective drug policy -- which he believes would include greater rates of incarceration for drug offenders -- in the name of either party politics or spendthrift fiscal philosophies. 

Now that the president of the United States has voiced his belief that the crisis urgently deserves greater resources, Hils said he hoped money would be less of an issue. What would he specifically want to see happen?

"I would like to see some form of corrections facility, a detention facility, for people who are criminally convicted who are addicted to opioids in a hospital type setting where they can also get treatment at the same time," he said.

Trump's declaration Thursday was informal, meaning it is not national policy yet. According to the president, they're drawing up the paperwork

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