The Orange County Board of Supervisors is officially joining the OC Sheriff and District Attorney in the fight to lower fentanyl-related overdose deaths. The board unanimously passed a resolution to help law enforcement.
“It is here, it is real, and it is in our community … to draw attention and make a dent—if not more than a dent in the crisis,” Supervisor Wagner said. “You will be saving lives.”
Wagner introduced the resolution after the California senate’s Public Safety Committee shot down a bipartisan bill which would have increased sentencing for fentanyl dealers.
Senate Bill 75 would have increased sentencing for fentanyl possession with an intent to sell. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes blasted state legislators who voted against the bipartisan bill.
“The failure of the Public Safety Committee to recognize the legitimate risk to Californians has created a perverse incentive encouraging drug cartels to traffic pure fentanyl, as the consequences for doing so are less than trafficking other narcotics,” Barnes said. “Without a proper consequence, we can only expect trafficking efforts to continue and the death toll to increase.”
The OC DA has made the fight against fentanyl a priority focus, offering a designated webpage for victim resources and information on the dangers of fentanyl.
“It’s cheap, it’s easy to get, and it’s killing our children, our friends, our neighbors. Not because fentanyl victims thought they were taking fentanyl and took too much,” reads the OC DA’s fentanyl webpage. “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is not going to let these drug dealers get away with murder.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department recorded over 500 fentanyl overdoses in 2020. Reports say Orange County saw a 1,067% increase in fentanyl-related deaths over the past five years.