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Attorney General Kane to testify at Clarion hearing on heroin epidemic

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane will testify at the Center for Rural Pennsylvania's fourth and final hearing
HARRISBURG- Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane will testify at the Center for Rural Pennsylvania's fourth and final hearing of its series, "Heroin: Combating This Growing Epidemic in Rural Pennsylvania" at Clarion University. The series has focused on the increased use of heroin and other opioids in rural Pennsylvania and across the Commonwealth.
The hearing will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, on the 2nd floor of Clarion University's Gemmell Student Complex (840 Wood Street, Clarion). Attorney General Kane is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. The full agenda of speakers can be found here.
"None of us can alone solve the scourge of drug abuse and trafficking," Attorney General Kane said. "Our best hope for success in fighting the heroin and prescription drug epidemic in Pennsylvania is through collaboration and education from agency to agency, student to student, parent to parent, and with our partners in the General Assembly.
"The diversity of perspectives and the potential for fostering future collaboration and making an impact on this dire problem are why this series of hearings are so important," she said.
Attorney General Kane will provide testimony on the influx of heroin trafficking and abuse that has become a major priority for her office. Heroin trafficking investigations account for the majority of cases handled by the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation. She will also ask for legislative support for new, innovative law enforcement programs like the Attorney General's Mobile Street Crimes Unit, which was created with additional funding provided by the legislature in 2013.
The hearing is being co-hosted by state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center's Board of Directors, and Clarion University President Dr. Karen Whitney, a Center board member.
"In recent weeks, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan legislative research agency, began a series of statewide public hearings to identify more effective approaches in education, prevention, treatment, monitoring and enforcement for heroin and opioid abuse and addiction," said Senator Yaw. "These hearings are bringing together key leaders in the fight against drug abuse, including law enforcement officials, medical and health care providers and most importantly family members who have lost loved ones. On behalf of the entire Board, I am pleased that General Kane is able to participate and offer her insights into this growing epidemic affecting our Commonwealth."
In her testimony, Attorney General Kane will also discuss her office's efforts to foster collaboration among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to hinder drug trafficking. She will address the influx of heroin and traffickers connected to Mexican drug trafficking organizations, the correlation between prescription pill abuse and heroin use and how drug trafficking increases violent crime.
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