BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities in western New York have a new an initiative to track opioid overdoses and treat them as crime scenes.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr., Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and other officials announced the new protocols on Wednesday.

Officers who respond to an opioid overdose will log certain evidence into a law enforcement database.

Kennedy says that by standardizing the way overdose scenes are processed, law enforcers will enhance their ability to prosecute those who peddle "poison."

He says tracking the locations of overdoses will also help drug treatment providers reach those who are most in need.

A drug intelligence officer with a joint New York-New Jersey task force, Daniel Rinaldo, says the initiative represents "the perfect partnership between law enforcement and public health."

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