Bay County Sheriff’s Office talks overdoses, launches task force

Bay County Sheriff's Office

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office hosted other local law enforcement agencies, medical providers and treatment agencies on Wednesday to launch the Bay County Overdose Task Force and talk about a resource to track overdoses.

ODMAP is an online resource used by law enforcement and medical professionals who can input data about where geographically an overdose happened, if Narcan, which helps reverse overdoses, was used and if the overdose was fatal.

BSCO has used ODMAP for about a year and will find out Friday if they receive a grant to hire an analyst for the data.

Sheriff Tommy Ford says the program’s features can help them track more than just numbers.

“It could alert us that a bad batch of heroin or fentanyl is in the county because we’ve got these inputs from various sources that we’re able to look at in real time and say hey, there’s something going on,” Ford said.

Ford says the number one predictor of a fatal overdose is someone who has had a previous nonfatal overdose. With the Overdose Task Force, more than just law enforcement will respond.

“When we have somebody overdose, instead of law enforcement just going out and conducting an investigation to determine if a crime has been committed, we’re now partnering with social services and treatment providers to kinda provide a holistic approach,” Ford said.

Ford says if a fatal overdose occurs, a homicide case could be made and that his office will hold anyone accountable who breaks the law.

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