PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford is looking forward to seeing what he and a team of people from across the state will accomplish as they work to stop the opioid crisis.
Ford was appointed to the Opioid Task Force by Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday.
He served for eighteen years at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). For part of that time, Ford was a team leader for a drug task force.
“I’ve really spent a lot of time in my career in drug enforcement, so that to me and Sheriff McKeithen before me, our passions have been drug enforcement and really trying to make a difference in that manor in Bay County,” Ford said.
Ford has been involved with drug programs at the Bay County Jail, and he wants to talk about his knowledge and experience on the task force.
“After becoming sheriff, I really saw the opportunities that we have for drug treatment at the jail,” Ford said. “We’re already paying room and board and just with a little bit of help, we would be able to expand those drug treatment programs in county jails to try to make a difference.”
Ford says while a big part of his job is arresting people and getting drugs off the streets, the epidemic has to be looked at through other points as well.
“I’m looking forward to kinda taking a broad look at the issue, from prevention to enforcement to treatment because it’s going to require all of those for us to make a difference in this epidemic,” Ford said.