The city's largest police union is starting a campaign Monday to educate Staten Islanders about the dangers of prescription pills and heroin.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association will mail 14,000 educational leaflets this week to people living on the South Shore of the island and people in the Bronx.
Prescription pill abuse has been a scourge in both boroughs, with a flood of overdoses, and then a corresponding wave of heroin deaths.
The PBA chose those areas for their "Community Safety Bulletin" because they suffer from the highest per capita rates of opioid-involved deaths in 2015 and 2016, based on city figures.
"The PBA is reaching out to the neighborhoods that are hardest hit, because this crisis affects every New Yorker," a union official said.
"It's only going to get solved at the ground level and by working together. "
PBA members will also distribute the leaflets by hand in the affected neighborhoods. Cops have saved more than 111 people using the drug naloxone, which revives people who have overdosed. Overdoses in the city are outpacing homicides and car crashes combined.
Gov. Cuomo said this year’s state budget includes $200 million for communities to fight heroin and opioid addiction.
“Government can't solve this problem alone — the entire community must come together to increase awareness and promote safety on every corner and in every home,” he said in a statement. I commend the PBA's efforts in taking the next step to tackle the epidemic, which will serve as a model for engaging the hardest-hit communities across our state.”