LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Representatives from Washington DC and the Panhandle region are working together to fight an influx of a deadly drug.
They met on Thursday with Congressman Neal Dunn and talked about the crisis.
“We have gathered here some of the leaders in the law enforcement community, sheriffs, city police, and also DEA. And we gotta get our arms around the fentanyl crisis,” Congressman Neal Dunn said.
Local and national agencies have stated fentanyl has become an epidemic. The News Service of Florida reported that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for people ages eighteen to forty five in the united states.
“It’s a crisis for families, it’s a crisis for the police, it’s a crisis in the hospital,” Dunn said. “Everybody wants to get this thing solved.”
The collaboration between local counties and Washington DC is essential to get the drug off the street.
“These are the people who come in contact with this day to day,” Dunn stated. “They have the solutions, they have to think of solutions. Everyday they go to work they are going to be put at risk of fentanyl.”
As for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, they said they need Congressman Dunn’s support to ensure they have the right resources.
“Most of these drugs come freely over the border both meth and opioids, we need assistance with, enforcement in both the coordination of federal agencies and funding with that as well as treatment,” Sheriff Tommy Ford said.
There have been multiple incidents involving fentanyl in Bay County.
“People are dying. Last year we had 23 fatal overdoses just Bay County Sheriff’s Office area alone, that doesn’t include other agencies within Bay County,” Ford said. “So its, a killer.”
Even law enforcement officers who have come in contact with fentanyl have had to use the anti-overdose drug Narcan.
Officials are hoping the Thursday’s roundtable event will lead to change.