Bay County Sheriff's Office implements overdose mapping system
The tragedy of overdoses is all too common in Bay County and nationwide.
"I believe over 17,000 people last year died from overdoses and Bay County is not immune to that," Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said.
That's why Sheriff Ford gathered area law enforcement to tell them about ODMAP, an overdose mapping program.
"We've actually applied for a grant to kind of expand it in Bay County, and to hire an analyst to help us make sure we got the most up-to-date data in ODMAP," Sheriff Ford said.
Seminole County Sheriff's Office Captain Sammy Gibson joined Sheriff Ford.
"We're trying to get 100 percent participation across the state so we can more accurately keep track of the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses," Captain Gibson said.
The goal of Wednesday's meeting was to kick off Bay County's Overdose Task Force.
ODMAP plays an important role in enforcement efforts.
"In order to be able to, for the task force to address the issue, we got to know where they're happening and when they're happening," Sheriff Ford said.
The data is easily accessible and easy to input. Each agency that participates can enter real-time data on their computer or their cell phone.
Users identify their location, whether an overdose is fatal or nonfatal, if Narcan is administered or not, and what the primary suspected drug is.
"It can alert us to the fact that a bad batch of heroin or fentanyl is in the county because we've got these inputs from various sources that we are able to look at in real-time and say 'Hey there's something going on,'" Sheriff Ford said.