DA Cannizzaro’s office to propose City adoption of overdose mapping tool today
April 30, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (April 30) will present and recommend for adoption ODMAP, a software platform that can aid New Orleans authorities in the fight to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths.

Assistant District Attorney Andre Gaudin Jr. and Kristin A. Lyman of the Louisiana Public Health Institute are scheduled to present the proposed program at Tuesday’s 1 p.m. meeting of the New Orleans City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee. The meeting, open to the public, will be held in the City Council chambers at 1300 Perdido Street.

New Orleans’ murder count has declined in recent years, in large part because Cannizzaro’s prosecutors have taken more than 675 killers off the city streets in the past 10 years through successful homicide convictions. But as the nationwide opioid crisis has spread, New Orleans has seen overdose deaths overtake the city’s murder count in each of the past three years.

New Orleans has seen 480 people murdered from 2016-18, while 638 died from drug overdoses in the same period.

“The trafficking of illegal narcotics in our city has always brought with it the gun violence associated with drug dealers and street gangs protecting their sales turf,” Cannizzaro said. “But the dangerous addition of Fentanyl to the narcotics being sold in recent years has proven every bit as deadly. The ODMAP program has been successful in other jurisdictions, mapping out for health officials and law enforcement authorities in real time those areas where overdoses and fatal overdoses have spiked.”

Adoption of the program would be nearly cost-free, as the software is offered at no charge by the Washington D.C./Baltimore HIDTA team. Gaudin is the New Orleans prosecutor tasked to HIDTA cases (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), part of a prohibited-drug enforcement program run by the United States Office of National Drug
Control Policy.

The city’s main commitment would be directing the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office, New Orleans EMS and New Orleans Fire Department first responders to promptly input additional data from overdose calls into the recording system. The ODMAP program falls under the Covered Entities Exceptions of the federal HIPAA health information protection act.

Should the Criminal Justice Committee lend its approval today, the proposed program would go before the full City Council and Mayor Cantrell’s office for adoption.