New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have pushed back against criticism that the city’s controversial drug tests are ineffective and ineffective for many New Yorkers, arguing that many of the tests are used as a first step to determine whether people are fit to live in the city.
On Wednesday, de Blasio announced that he will use data from the citywide drug testing program to inform a new strategy to fight street drug use.
The New York Times reports that the goal is to have 100 percent of the city drug testing results by the end of 2018, and that the program has so far provided data that supports the citys assertion that the tests have helped cut violent crime and arrests.
“The drug testing data shows that the results that are presented by the state and the city and other agencies are based on very unreliable data,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“What we are doing is taking what we know and trying to make sure that we are using all of the data that we have to make a better, more accurate determination.”
The mayor is expected to announce a new drug-testing policy in coming weeks.
According to the Times, de Blasio and police Commissioner James O’Neill will use the results of the program to focus their drug-prevention efforts.
The mayor has been critical of the drug testing and said he is worried about the effectiveness of the testing, saying that the test is just a starting point for drug use and that there are other measures that can be used.
“We don’t want to be like New York,” de Blasi said.
“In New York, you don’t have any choice but to have this drug testing.”
The Times reports a New York drug task force is working with police to help identify drug dealers.