Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, joined by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Michael Murphy, announced the creation of the MPD Overdose Task Force during a press conference on Thursday, December 14.
The Task Force will supplement already robust investigations in narcotics trafficking and its mission will be to reduce heroin and opioid trafficking through targeted enforcement, intelligence sharing, and analysis planning. Currently, Detectives from MPD’s Investigations and Intelligence Bureau investigate overdoses. Follow-up is conducted on the next shift and coordination is done with Narcotics, the Intelligence Fusion Center, and North Central HIDTA when appropriate. Under the new Task Force, six members from IIB will be moved to Narcotics/North Central HIDTA to augment investigations. The new Task Force will have 16 members whose full time job is to identify suppliers in overdose deaths. This effort will be enforcement-focused as MPD will prosecute dealers and not users.
The Task Force will collaborate with other service providers and medical professionals and affirmatively push out information to public health providers. Through the Task Force, MPD hopes to increase real-time information sharing, turn around intelligence quicker, respond rapidly to deadly batches of fentanyl-laced heroin that results in multiple deaths, and identify patterns and geographical spikes where deaths are taking place.