The Naperville Police Department had a very successful year in 2015. Guided by our mission to provide professional, top-quality police services and by employing our department's strategic plan, our staff made great strides in a number of areas. These accomplishments serve to positively impact public and officer safety, efficiency and communication, among other areas.
Drug education was a top priority in 2015 due to an increase in heroin-related deaths and overdoses and the misuse of prescription drugs in our community. The Department worked in partnership with community groups such as KidsMatter and ParentsMatterToo to educate the community about the dangers of both illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse. Nearly half of young people who inject heroin start by abusing prescription drugs, so we embarked on a campaign to raise awareness and discuss the proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs.
Additionally, all Naperville police officers have been equipped with and trained in the use of the drug Narcan, which reverses the effects of an opiate overdose when properly administered. Using this new tool, our officers successfully resuscitated three individuals who had taken a lethal dose of heroin in 2015.
Last year, our Department also made great strides in the area of drug enforcement, with the special operations group arresting 173 individuals for drug and vice related crimes. More than 400 grams of heroin, cocaine and cannabis, along with nine illegally possessed firearms, were seized by our officers during the year. In addition, our officers arrested an individual on drug-induced homicide charges for providing a lethal dose of heroin to someone.
Another important accomplishment involved the creation of new City ordinances and the implementation of a plan to help reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents in downtown Naperville. The plan was very successful, as we saw a reduction in the number of fights and also established better communication between the Department and downtown stakeholders.
The Department also continues to expand the use of technology to improve productivity and communication. In 2015, our traffic team piloted, implemented and trained all officers in the use of electronic citation and traffic crash report systems. These enhancements will increase our officers' efficiency when issuing traffic citations and completing traffic crash investigations.
Staff also put a lot of effort last year in expanding our use of social media as a means of communicating with our residents and businesses. In addition to increasing our activity on Twitter, we also created a Facebook page that provides followers with insight into the goings on of the Department and our City, safety information and relevant news about our Department and employees.
The Police Department continues to be very proud of our City's low crime rate, and we will continue to use police best practices each year in an effort to maintain Naperville's positive reputation and meet the expectations of our stakeholders. In 2016, we as a Department look forward to the ability to serve the community and deliver the highest level of police services in the most professional manner.