Drug use by both teens and adults on City Island seems to have spiked, according to residents. The increase in illegal narcotic use and sales brought out roughly 70 people from the seaside community to the last 45th Pct. Council Meeting before the summer.
City Island Civic Association president Bill Stanton led a group from the island at the meeting on Thursday, June 4.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca was also on hand as they called on 45th Precinct Captain Dimitrios Roumeliotis and Bronx Narcotics task to stop what was described as “a systemic drug issue.” Roumeliotis pledged to increase foot patrols, and work with the community to identify and catch drug dealers.
“We have a systemic drug problem, with kids as young as 13-years-old making hand-to-hand transactions,” Stanton said at the meeting. “There is a big problem with drug use for both teens and adults. More and more, the people of City Island are becoming rightfully outraged.”
The tone of City Island’s drug problem has grown increasingly morbid over the past several months, residents said. At least three young people died of overdoses, one attributed to heroin.
Stanton, a former member of the NYPD and safety expert with his own series of television specials for NBC, has brought together a group of retired law-enforcement people for the purpose of identifying and informing police about islanders and off-islanders they suspect of using or selling illegal drugs.
“There is a growing and troubling narcotics problem plaguing City Island,” said Michael Shanley, an island resident and former police officer.
Shanley added: “Unless this drug situation is brought under control, it is only a matter of time before break-ins, petty and violent crime increases as they are all part and parcel of the drug culture. What makes this situation even more tragic is the fact that many of the abusers and offenders are our young people.”
Vacca called on the 45th Precinct and the NYPD to make more arrests for drug use and the sales on the island.
“There wouldn’t be drug dealers on City Island if our residents were not providing them with business,” Stanton said. “On the other hand, people are now realizing that united we can make a difference.”
©2009 Community News Group