Naperville cops correct record on heroin deaths
A Naperville police detective misspoke Monday night when he announced Naperville has suffered "zero" heroin-related deaths this year, officials said Wednesday.
Speaking during a Heroin Education and Prevention Forum in Naperville, hosted by U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, Detective Shaun Ferguson said the city has not had any heroin overdose deaths this year, thanks in part to forums and other efforts to educate the public about the drug's dangers.
"This year we've had five known (people) through June who have overdosed on heroin," he said. "The good news so far, and I don't want to jinx us at all, is that summer is halfway over and we've got zero deaths."
That is incorrect. Megan Miller, an 18-year-old Neuqua Valley High School senior, died Jan. 29 in her parent's Naperville home as a result of a combination of heroin and ecstasy.
Ferguson Wednesday called the statement a mental error and apologized. Police Chief Bob Marshall also confirmed the error.
"Unfortunately (Ferguson) overlooked (Megan's) passing on the calendar when he was compiling the statistics for the current year," Marshall said. "It's unfortunate, but Megan's passing was our only heroin-related death this year."
Heroin has become increasingly prevalent in Naperville in recent years, authorities say. Through June, police say they have made 19 heroin-related arrests, including five dealers. In 2011, there were 47 heroin arrests in Naperville, double the number in 2009.