Sheriff: opioids still a crisis despite pandemic
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens says, even with the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest problem law enforcement faces remains the opioid crisis.
Stephens wraps up his first term in office this weekend. He was first elected in 2016 and faced no opposition for re-election in November.
He previously served as Vienna’s police chief and joined the sheriff’s office as Head of Confinement Operations in 2011.
He says the number of overdose deaths this year is the highest in three years. The number of confirmed deaths in Wood County, as of Tuesday, is 29, up by five from 2019.
”The drug task force is still out working, the officers are still out making stops on drug intradictions,” the sheriff says. “It just seems like there’s a never-ending flow that gets to the ultimate user here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”
Sheriff Stephens says he’s been successful in getting funding for additional deputies, as well as for new sheriff’s office cruisers.
Since local sheriffs are limited to two terms, the four-year term Stephens officially begins January 1 will be his last.
SINCE LOCAL SHERIFFS ARE LIMITED TO TWO TERMS, THE FOUR-YEAR TERM STEPHENS BEGINS TOMORROW WILL BE HIS LAST.
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