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Northeast DC neighborhood asks for help fighting drug use

The topic of drug use came up during DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's community walk in the Ivy City neighborhood Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser hit the streets of Ivy City Wednesday afternoon to meet with locals and hear their concerns face-to-face.

Two weeks ago, authorities responded to 17 different overdoses in that Northeast D.C. neighborhood and in the nearby Trinidad neighborhood.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, in a three-day span, 10 people died in those cases. Authorities suspect a "bad batch" of cocaine mixed with fentanyl may be to blame.

"Very concerned about who is on the distribution end of those drugs in our community," she said.

Bowser added she wants to make sure MPD is staffed to a point where they can properly address concerns in the community that arise from drug use.

She said she is pushing the D.C. Council to move forward a $30 million package that would help hire 347 officers and retain another 300 officers this year.

"We want to be sure that MPD has the resources that it needs to conduct the type of in-depth investigations that just aren't focused on the users but are focused on the distributors," she said.

Eradicating fentanyl has been a point of focus for MPD, too.

The department says, last year, opioid-related overdoses killed more than 420 people in D.C. MPD even recently released a video highlighting one officer's efforts to revive victims of the drug with Narcan.

Still, in Ivy City, locals say they want help now.

One man said people routinely use drugs in the alley behind his parents' home.

"We really need somebody to step up and address this problem," said Kevin Kane.

Another Ivy City resident said D.C. needs to find more ways to get kids off the street in her neighborhood.

"Let's put something there for the kids,” said Ivy City resident Orpel Sanders. “Let's do education, years ago they had vocational schools."

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