Sununu, Rivera vow to work together on drugs

Lawrence mayor says supply, demand must be addressed

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera talked by phone on Thursday after Sununu had claimed that most of the drugs flowing into the Granite State were coming from Lawrence. Below are the statements the two officials released following the phone call. Rivera’s statement, which includes a number of grammatical and word-usage errors, is reproduced the way he sent it out.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera

Today I had a phone conversation with Governor Sununu. It was a productive conversation in which he insured me his naming of Lawrence in his statement yesterday was not to impugn Lawrence in any way. He also said the statistics he used was what Law Enforcement was telling him.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera

I encouraged him to review the tape of his comments and to see how it came off. It appeared that he was sending a warning that he was coming for Lawrence. We discussed his desire to deal with his States Opioid addiction problem and that he wanted to focus more resources and energy on enforcement. I invited him to come to Lawrence to see what we are doing here on that front. I ensured him that the Lawrence Police Department is doing all that they can to make Lawrence an inhospitable place to buy and sell drugs and they work closely with DEA, ATF, FBI, and all the regional State Police Departments. I am hopeful he will come to Lawrence and see for himself.

Lastly and most importantly I reiterated my 3 concerns about his comments. 1. That we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We need to discuss how many more long term, inpatient and outpatient (6-9 month) treatment beds and programs they have in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts and how we can increase them. This cannot be a supply side solution only this must be a majority Demand side solution effort. 2. No one jurisdiction can deal with this matter alone and for us to start pointing fingers at each other is counterproductive. I do look forward to talking to him about how we can better work together. 3. That he should be more thoughtful and measured with his statements they have serious implications.

After our call, I remain hopeful that Governor Sununu and I can work together to deal with the problems facing our communities.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu

It is no secret that the opiate crisis is the most serious public health and safety issue facing New Hampshire and the neighboring states across New England. This afternoon I spoke with Lawrence

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu

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Mayor Dan Rivera. The mayor and his local law enforcement personnel have been doing a good job on this issue, but we must recognize this is a cross-border problem that requires cross-border solutions. It has no geographic boundaries and it remains incumbent upon all of us to come together and work collaboratively across our borders along with federal, state and local law enforcement. I am encouraged by my conversation with the mayor and have invited him to join me in developing a plan that will find solutions to this problem in both of our communities.