Despite fewer overdoses in 2019 than year prior, Ocala police chief stresses need for improvement

Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham

Despite seeing a decrease in overdoses in Ocala in 2019, the Ocala police chief stressed the need for improvement in the face of a tough beginning to 2020.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Ocala City Council, Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham indicated that 2019 saw the passing of 166 people from overdoses, over 10 percent less than in 2018 (187).

Graham indicated that the city still has a long way to go in its fight against addiction.

“The numbers are going in the correct direction, but I don’t think they’re going as far down as they need to,” said Graham. Only one week into 2020, the city has already experienced eight overdoses.

“We’ve had a bad couple of weeks. In fact, we had four overdoses in one day,” said Graham.

The chief heralded the amnesty program, which provides assistance to those struggling with addiction, as “very successful,” citing that more than 200 people had already taken part in it.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and in need of resources and non-emergency assistance, visit the Ocala Police Department website or call them at 352-369-7000.