BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – After Brown County declared fentanyl as a community health crisis in January, the sheriff’s office is taking a big step to get the drug off the streets.
The office, along with 8th District Representative Mike Gallagher, is asking the United States Postal Service to assign a task force officer to intercept fentanyl being transported through the mail.
Gallagher says, “These drugs are still slipping through the cracks, and given just the high impact of a low quantity or low volume of these incredible portent drugs, it’s very difficult, which is why we need to do more to help this task force to fulfill its mission.”
60% of the fentanyl the county seized last year came through the mail. The Sheriff’s office hopes by adding a task force officer position, more arrests will be made in a timely fashion.
“If we can form that partnership, where they have a seizure, and they can call the task officer here in northeast Wisconsin and say ‘we have seizure, normally we would get rid of it, but we’ll send it on to you to further your investigation’, we can continue with our investigative techniques to find out where it’s going to make an arrest,” Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain explains.
While fentanyl can be taken on its own, it also can be laced with other drugs. A fentanyl addiction, like any other addiction, can be difficult to overcome.
Jackie Nitschke Center substance abuse counselor Kay Wright says, “With the disease of addiction, it can completely take over your mind, all your decision making, and your behavior, so that affects every aspect of their life. As far as fentanyl use, that is extremely dangerous because as we know, just a small amount can be deadly.”
In the state, Madison and Milwaukee have USPS task force officers, so the Sheriff’s Office hopes they can also have one to better protect Northeast Wisconsin from fentanyl.
If USPS and Brown County agree to add a task force officer, the person could start their role as early as a few weeks.