Louisiana State Senator Mack “Bodi” White has arranged for $1 million to go to the EBR Sheriff’s Office to help combat the fentanyl epidemic.
The district 6 senator had the money appropriated from the State General Fund to EBRSO with the intent of targeting fentanyl and human trafficking in the entire parish. The sheriff’s office will also work with the Central Police Department in a concentrated effort to combat the drug in Senator White’s home district.
As of July 18, 2022, There have been 159 overdose deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish with officials saying 90% of the overdoses are fentanyl deaths. In all of 2021, there were 311 overdoses in the parish with 86% of those deaths being from fentanyl.
“This is a highly-lethal drug that is killing people in East Baton Rouge Parish at an alarming rate,” Senator White said. “I have heard of too many families broken due to the deadly impact of this drug on our community streets. I felt like it was imperative that we dedicate the funds needed to our local law enforcement in order to combat this epidemic.”
The parish has seen a drastic rise in Fentanyl-related overdoses due to the drugs extreme potency in small amounts. The EBRSO Narcotics division has also seen an increasing correlation between the sale and use of Fentanyl and human trafficking.
“Drug trafficking and human trafficking often go hand in hand,” EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “Often times these dealers use potent drugs like Fentanyl to gain and maintain control of victims of sex trafficking. I’m so appreciative for the funding allocated by Senator White which will allow us to dedicate more time and resources to go after these high-level traffickers who play a prominent role in violent crimes in our area.”
“I appreciate the efforts of Senator White in securing funding to get this poisonous drug off the streets of his home town,” Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said. “I am committed to contributing our Police Department resources to these enforcement efforts; and I look forward to working closely with the EBR Sheriff’s Office to keep our city safe.”
In addition to contending Fentanyl and human trafficking, Senator White has allotted the funds to assist in DNA processing related to the commission of local crimes.