Suffolk Police, County Exec Bellone Announce ‘Pharmacy Safety Initiative’

Bigger Rewards To Be Offered, Better Training For Drug Store Employees

YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Police Commissioner Edward Webber unveiled a plan Monday to keep pharmacy workers safe in the wake of several deadly robberies.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs With Reaction From The Long Island Pharmacy Association

The Pharmacy Safety Initiative is a three-pronged attack to stop the violence. It includes training for police and pharmacy employees, increasing rewards for information leading to arrests of suspects and raising community awareness about Operation Medicine Cabinet – a program where you can drop off unused drugs.

“These drugs need to be taken seriously– and they are being taken seriously in Suffolk County,” Bellone told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

The Initiative increases rewards for pharmacy robbery arrests from $1,500 to $5,000 and trains pharmacy personnel on a voluntary basis how to help stop robbers from targeting their business, reports Smith.

Suffolk County police also plan to host a workshop next month to teach pharmacy workers additional security measures.

“I dont think that’s what they bargained for when they became a pharmacist. They’re not policemen,”said Massapequa Park resident Lynn Durante.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

“I think the 21st Century gateway drug to more serious problems is the synthetic opiates we have today.  In old days it used to be marijuana.  Now it’s this,” Suffolk County Police Inspector Robert Oswald told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

The plan is in response to several violent attacks in pharmacies, including the murder of four people at Haven Drugs in Medford on Father’s Day last June.

The shooter, David Laffer, and his wife, Melinda Brady were found with thousands of prescription pills when they were arrested.

Laffer is serving five consecutive life terms. Brady was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On New Year’s Eve, ATF Agent John Capano was killed by friendly fire when career criminal James McGoey tried to steal cash and hundreds of painkillers from a Seaford pharmacy.

“It’s horrible,” Joanne Hoffman Beechko, President of the Long Island Pharmacist’s Society, said. “The point is no one wants to come to work and have to worry about their life.”

Pharmacies on Long Island have security measures in place and there will be more to come. Expect to see low doses or no doses of the career criminals drug of choice, oxycontin and oxycodone, reports Smith.

Michael Nastro, owner of Fairview Pharmacy, said his store has been hit twice in the past year — no one was hurt, but thieves snatched $10,000 in cash and drugs.

“I fear for my staff, I fear for me, I fear for people coming in my store,” Nastro said. “I want this to stop.”

While pharmacists and customers welcome the county’s help, many admit theyre afraid and feeling vulnerable to the next pill-popping criminal.

“Pharmacists are gonna have to do things on their own, too — not just what legislation is talking about,” added pharmacist Todd Svec.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

Comments

One Comment

  1. adam j. mack says:

    ”Pharmacy needs to find a solution to these issues.”

    1. BARBARA MCKENNA says:

      THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION, DIVIDE THE STORE. SEPARATE ENTRANCES, NO BACK DOORS AND AN OFFICER OF THE LAW,(private detective, etc,) ARMED, BEHIND THE COUNTER IN THE “STORE” THAT CARRIES OPIOIDS. OF COURSE, A FULL TIME REGISTERED PHARMACIST OR TWO WOULD BE REQUIRED AND A BUZZER TO ALLOW ONE CUSTOMER AT A TIME. ASK CUSTOMER IF THEY CAN WAIT FOR NEXT DAY PICK-UP, THAT WAY RX’S COULD BE PREPARED AFTER CLOSING, IF THEY CAN’T WAIT TELL THEM TO COME BACK IN AN HR OR SO. THE REGULAR STORE COULD STILL SELL ALL THE CANDY AND DO-DADS AS IT DID BEFORE.

  2. cathyreen says:

    suffolk police………………… my neighbor’s half-sister makes $86/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $7694 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site… m a k e c a s h 4 . com

  3. skweegee says:

    It’s easy. NY has restricted carry laws right? And all the laws they have in place protect us from lunatics getting guns right. And yes I know that in this case the perp DID have a legally registered gun, not a carry permit (at least I think I read that, might be mistaken). So the answer is…..until EVERY STATE is on the same page when it comes to purchase and carry…..there is no answer. I’ve been a working Pharmacist in NJ for over 30 years and I can’t get a concealed weapons permit. I cross over into Pa. and I can purchase a LAW’s rocket. Each person must decide what makes them feel safe and protected, but be ready to face the Judge, like the nurse from Tennessee.

  4. Xyr says:

    I’ve developed my own 3 pronged strategy as well:

    1. Give.
    2. Pharmacists
    3. Guns

    1. Hire police says:

      Bad idea it will just be easier for Pharmacy to hire off duty police.But they just to cheap to pay sad but true.

  5. Mr B says:

    Better do something like bullet proof glass and enclosures like banks have . This is the new grade of pain killers they are looking to market in the future .. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/powerful-painkiller-abuse-experts-worried-180505140.html

    1. Hire police says:

      Bullet proof glass will do nothing when they can just put gun to cashiers head in front of store.So hiring armed guard will be ideal.

  6. theclarkster says:

    What the hell does your question have to do with the article?

  7. Jeff Allain says:

    This is really getting out of hand! Why is it that I still have to talk through glass to buy a movie or event ticket, but people are dying in open air shoot-outs with thousands of dollars of drugs next to them with no protection. Drastic measures need to be put in place!

Comments are closed.

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