New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Health Department announced on Tuesday that the first publicly recognized Overdose Prevention Center (OPC) services in the nation have started, a move one New York Republican Congresswoman calls “unlawful.”

De Blasio’s statement said the services come “at a critical time” as more than 2,000 people in New York City died from drug overdoses during 2020.

“New York City has led the nation’s battle against COVID-19, and the fight to keep our community safe doesn’t stop there. After exhaustive study, we know the right path forward to protect the most vulnerable people in our city. And we will not hesitate to take it,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“Overdose Prevention Centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis. I’m proud to show cities in this country that after decades of failure, a smarter approach is possible,” he added.

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog also celebrated the opening of the new sites.

“Overdose Prevention Centers can turn the tide in the fight against the opioid crisis, and New York City is ready to lead the way,” Hartzog said.

“We have lost too much to rely on the same playbook. It’s time to take bold action to help our most vulnerable neighbors and the communities they call home,” she added.

The city hopes the locations could help save up to 130 lives per year, according to the statement. Similar OPC sites have been started in other nations, including Australia and Canada.

“Overdose Prevention Centers have proven to be a safe and effective way to combat the opioid crisis,” de Blasio added in a Twitter post on Tuesday featuring an article on the new locations from The New York Times.

“We’re proud to show the nation that the path forward is through compassionate policies that protect our most vulnerable residents,” he added.

Not everyone agrees with the new OPC program.

“Democrats have allowed cartels to pour drugs over our Southern border & are releasing career drug dealers back on our streets. Now they’re opening community centers to shoot up,” New York Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis tweeted, whose district includes Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“Under Trump, @DOJ promised intervention. We need same commitment now @POTUS!” she added.

The congresswoman sent a letter Tuesday to urge President Joe Biden’s Justice Department to intervene against the “unlawful plans.”

“In 2018, the Trump DOJ committed to me that it would intervene if de Blasio moved forward with Supervised Injection Centers. I’m asking Biden’s DOJ to take the same action,” Malliotakis wrote.

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