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EBR sheriff's office getting $1 million to fight drugs, human trafficking

4 months 2 days 11 hours ago Monday, July 25 2022 Jul 25, 2022 July 25, 2022 4:08 PM July 25, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Law enforcement in East Baton Rouge is getting an additional $1 million in funding to combat fentanyl overdoses and human trafficking in the capital area. 

The money, set aside from the State General Fund thanks in part to State Senator Mack "Bodi" White, will help the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office target drug and sex-trafficking operations. The department said it will also work alongside Central Police to combat fentanyl in White's home district.

“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.”

Officials in East Baton Rouge have attributed a startling rise in overdose deaths to the drug. The sheriff's office said 86 percent of the parish's 311 fatal overdoses in 2021 were caused by fentanyl. 

“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.”

The sheriff's office said it expects targeting the drug will also help their efforts to fight human trafficking in the area. 

“Drug trafficking and human trafficking often go hand in hand,” EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “Oftentimes 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.”

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