Collier sheriff announces program to protect first responders involving fentanyl cases

Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:
Collier County Sheriff
Collier County Sheriff’s Office. (CREDIT: WINK News)

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has announced a program designed to protect deputies and first responders if they are injured or killed while engaging with criminals caught dealing in fentanyl.

On Friday, Collier Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announced the program called Laced and Lethal.

“I saw firsthand, through the alarming exposure of one of our deputies last summer, how quickly this deadly drug can create a serious and potentially life-threatening emergency for first responders,” said Rambosk in a statement. “Exposures like this further cemented my resolve to take action with legislation, and I knew that this would be a very important law to protect not only our deputies and first responders in Collier County but all first responders throughout Florida.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Monday, which Rambosk helped write.

“As your Sheriff, I was determined to create proposed language for legislation to protect our first responders who so bravely serve our communities,” said Rambosk. “That proposed legislation came to be known as Senate Bill 718, was created to protect law enforcement and first responders.”

Senator Jay Collins of Hillsborough County agreed to introduce and sponsor the bill through the Senate, and Representative Jessica Baker of Duval County introduced a similar bill in the House.  

This legislation will take effect Oct. 1 and provides criminal penalties for those who, in the course of possessing drugs like fentanyl, expose a first responder to such substances, and an overdose or serious bodily injury of the first responder results.

This crime is a second-degree felony with a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

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