DEER PARK, LONG ISLAND (WPIX)—The violence associated with pharmacy robberies across Long Island is ripping families apart but some officials are attacking the problem.
The memories are fresh. First there was the horrific Fathers Day heist in Medford that left four people dead. They were all murdered by David Laffer at the Haven Drugs pharmacy.
Then, just last week thousands mourned as funeral services were held in Seaford for Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agent John Campano. He was killed by friendly-fire as he struggled with the suspect who was robbing a pharmacy for drugs.
Now Suffolk County officials are looking to stop the carnage with a new program called the Pharmacy Safety Initiative. It's designed to decrease robberies and drug abuse.
The initiative is a three-pronged approach that includes training for police and pharmacy workers, bigger rewards for Crime Stoppers arrests in pharmacy robberies, and raising community awareness of Operation Medicine Cabinet -- a program that encourages people to turn in old prescription drugs from their medicine cabinets.
In the meantime, New York Senator Chuck Schumer is also promoting another three-pronged approach to making pharmacies safer in the wake of 1,800 robberies nationwide in the last three years.
Schumer sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency saying he wants pharmacies to use bullet proof glass much like banks to protect pharmacists. He is also looking to increase penalties for drug crimes at pharmacies to 20 years per offense and to make DEA drug data more available to Pharmacies.
These efforts are all aimed to stop drug abusers from killing people just to get that next high.