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City of Bloomington to Alter Online Presentation of Data about Overdose Deaths
Updated July 12, 2018 4:29 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton made the decision Wednesday to modify how the locations of overdose deaths in Bloomington are presented in a map on the city website Bloomington Revealed.

The website features visual representations of public data. The decision was based on recommendations made at a July 10 meeting of city staff and the county coroner as well as representatives from local agencies providing services to individuals living with substance use disorder. The meeting was one of many that have occurred since October 2017 among multiple stakeholders considering how to use more public data in the effort to combat the local opioid crisis.

Since published in early March 2018, the map of overdose deaths identified the street addresses where individuals have expired, among other data. In consideration of resident concerns and with input from local service providers, the city will remove the street addresses from the map and replace the identifier at each geographical coordinate with an indication of only whether the address is a business, residence, or public property. Access to specific address information will continue to be publicly available by downloading a record located elsewhere on the site.

"Substance use disorder is ubiquitous," said Hamilton. "People from all walks of life across our community have lost friends, co-workers, or family members as a result. Sharing this public data about where these deaths are occurring can help give those working toward a solution more tools to help those who are suffering. At the same time, we understand that this is a sensitive issue. As we have done since launching the site, we will continue to consult with those on the front lines of this crisis to follow best practices."

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