Protecting The Palm Beaches: Lantana's Police Chief On Opioid Overdoses

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The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency across Florida and Palm Beach County has been called "ground zero." 

While new state laws have been passed to help fight the problem, the numbers are staggering in some cities like Delray Beach, where the mayor tells me there were 16-hundred overdose calls last year, more than 60 of them fatal. 

But even in a small town like Lantana, where the population is just over 11 thousand according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Police Chief Sean Scheller tells us the epidemic has made itself known.

"It's unfortunate this epidemic that we're all going through.  Here in Lantana, we're two-by-three square miles and my staff is responding sometimes to 2 to 3 a day.  Fortunately, most of these that we're experiencing are not fatal, but the fire department comes and administers the NARCAN and people just come right to...they send them to the hospital and sometimes they're released and we're dealing with the same individual later on in that shift."

This is just another example of how law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day they wear the badge.

"It's unfortunate with our staff too.  You never know with this individual, the mindset that they're in and it's putting our lives in danger everytime we deal with them."

Photo: Tetra images RF

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