BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Governor-elect Larry Hogan picked a battleground on the public health and safety front and is declaring a state of emergency.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports it’s a plague that affects every jurisdiction in the state.

It’s heroin.

In a meeting with the five Republican county executives Tuesday, the governor-elect said they all agree that heroin trafficking and addiction is a top priority.

An Anne Arundel Couny mother told her story.

“My own son struggled with addiction. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. To go to sleep at night—not just fearing but almost expecting—to get a call that your child has died is not a feeling that can be explained to anyone not going through it,” she said.

Three million dollars in heroin and cash were seized in Baltimore City. Law enforcement broke up a ring spanning Baltimore County to the Eastern Shore. State police made a stop on I-95 in Perryville that yielded $100,000 of heroin. A trucker in Harford County was caught with a million dollar stash—and what the cops don’t confiscate goes into the bloodstream, killing 464 people last year, up 88% from 2011.

“We’re gonna declare a state of emergency,” Hogan said.

Hogan and the five Republican County Executives—Barry Glassman in Harford County, Steve Schuh in Anne Arundel County, Bob Culver in Wicomico County, Terry Moore in Cecil County and Allan Kittleman in Howard County—all agree that heroin is a top priority.

“Certainly everybody thought of this as an urban problem. It became then a suburban problem. Now it’s a rural county problem,” Hogan said. “It’s something we are all wrestling with. We’re gonna focus on it.”

Once he takes office, Hogan says there will be a task force summit on tackling the problem because it’s something affecting all of the counties.

Hogan takes office January 21.

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