PORTLAND (AP) – The top cop in Maine’s largest city says drugs are fueling an increase in crime.

Joseph Loughlin, acting chief in Portland, says crack cocaine and heroin are back “in a big way.” And he says it’s becoming harder for Portland police to keep up with all the crime because there are fewer officers on the streets.

Tuesday’s briefing was arranged in response to three recent high-profile crimes, including the fatal shooting of a Mercy security guard. Also in July, three men chased down and fatally stabbed a man on a soccer field near Kennedy Park.

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