Nassau County officials have scheduled a security summit for pharmacists and law enforcement in three weeks following the second deadly Long Island drug store robbery in a six-month span on Dec. 31.
Nassau County’s Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Prevention Task Force will partner with InfraGard, an FBI-led public-private partnership, and the Long Island Pharmacy Crimes Task Force to offer a Pharmacist Security Summit on Feb. 7 at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center. Police and prosecutors will discuss their efforts investigating and deterring drug store hold ups.
“Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions nationwide,” County Executive Mangano said. “In Nassau County, we have felt first-hand the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse.”
Following the summit, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma will host a two-hour closed door security training session for pharmacists on March 8 at the Morrelly Center. Last week, Suffolk County officials announced they too have scheduled workshops with police and pharmacists through Purdue Pharma in addition to raising Crime Stoppers rewards for information leading to arrests in drug store robberies.
Police are working with schools, parent organizations, doctors, dentists and other professional prescribers to raise awareness of the issue. Investigators have also created a list of vulnerable pharmacies.
Those efforts come as federal authorities recently arrested several doctors accused of illegally selling prescriptions for commonly abused painkillers such as Oxycodone that are fueling the epidemic.
An off-duty ATF agent was killed while trying to stop a man who had just robbed a Seaford pharmacy on New Year’s Eve. The suspect was also fatally shot. That incident came after David Laffer gunned down four people while robbing a Medford drug store of painkillers on Father’s Day.
“The rise in prescription drug abuse and the increasing boldness of addicts searching for a new source of pills makes this security summit a must-attend event for every Nassau County pharmacy,” District Attorney Rice said. “It is incumbent upon law enforcement to provide whatever training, advice, and support we can to pharmacists and their employees.”
The summit will be held Tues., Feb. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center, 10 Grumman Rd., Bethpage.