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Snellings: Significant Increase In Meth In City

There is a “significant” increase of methamphetamine in the city of Jamestown.

That is what Harry Snellings, Jamestown Police Department chief and city public safety director, told the Health Care Action Team Thursday. He said there has also been an increase in cocaine, but it has mostly been meth. He added public safety officials are not seeing heroin as much as they were in 2014-15.

Snellings said the methamphetamine being produced is top-of-the-line product from Mexico and is not the shake and bake, one pot method local users try to create on their own. He said a lot of the meth is being sent from Mexico through the U.S Postal Service.

“It’s high-grade methamphetamine,” he said.

Snellings said in the last two weeks police officers have also seen an increase in fentanyl being laced in meth and cocaine. He said during that time, they arrested an individual in possession of 18 bags of fentanyl, which isn’t normal. He added that the department hasn’t even released a news release on the arrest to date. There is a concern for police officers, EMTs and emergency room personnel when it comes to fentanyl because it can be harmful if touched, Snellings said.

The chief also discussed a new program city officials are working with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County and county officials to map where overdoses have happened. He said police department officials are also sending information about how to receive help for addiction, including information about peer groups at the Mental Health Association, to people who have overdosed.

“It’s another avenue to try and get people support,” he said.

HCAT is a subcommittee of the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission and was formed to focus on the impact of health care on development in the community, as well as accessible, high-quality health care for residents. Partners on the team consist of City Council members; various foundations; UPMC Chautauqua WCA; Jamestown Area Medical Associates; The Resource Center; Jamestown Primary Care; Chautauqua County Health Network; The Chautauqua Center; Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County; Workforce Investment Board; SUNY Fredonia; Evergreen Health; Jamestown Community College Nursing Program; and Chautauqua County Health & Human Services and Mental Hygiene departments.

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