Delray Beach Police Officers are dealing with a spike in drug overdose calls. The result is less resources are being put into other projects. Chief Jeffrey Goldman is making a request to the city in order to maintain a safe quality of life for residents.
A local Delray Beach woman who wants to remain anonymous says what shes seeing at sober homes in neighborhood makes her want to stay indoors.
"Needles thrown on the ground, pipes," she said.
Every night Delray Beach Police officers are responding to overdoses throughout the city.
"Last year January, February, March, the number were in single digits. I mean last month we’re at 50-60 overdoses that our officers ran on," said Chief Jeffrey Goldman.
Chief Goldman says the calls are pulling resources in one direction. Crime is down, but in order to keep it that way, he's asking for 14 more officers in the next three years.
"It is putting a strain on the resources because there’s other things that we’re also doing. We have traffic enforcement, we have other crimes that are occurring in our community that we’re addressing," said Chief Goldman.
Matthew Kretz manages Doc's All American on Atlantic Avenue. He says the issues that need police presence extend beyond recovery residences.
"Theres homeless people that come up here and ask our customers for money and there’s people that get high in our bathrooms and I have to kick out on a regular basis," said Kretz.
Chief Goldman told commissioners what he needs to maintain the quality of service the department is providing now. Locals dealing with overdoses in their neighborhoods agree officer presence is one step to combat a bigger issue.
"There’s way too many [sober homes] and a lot of them are not doing their job. They aren't helping these people like they should," said the local woman.
The chief says the next step is to figure out how much in the city budget can go towards the new hires.