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Measure Protects Cops from Drug Exposure

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Those who expose law enforcement personnel and other first responders to fentanyl will face stiffer penalties under a new measure signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this month.

Specifically, SB 718 makes it a second-degree felony for any adult who, through unlawful possession of fentanyl or fentanyl products, recklessly exposes any law enforcement officer or other first responder to the drug, causing an overdose or serious bodily injury.

It also expands protections from prosecution for individuals who seek help in good faith due to the belief that they or someone they know is experiencing an overdose.

“I’m signing legislation today to keep officers safe on the job and to further combat the opioid epidemic,” said DeSantis during a signing event in Sandford, Florida, on April 8.

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Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis praised the new law.

“It is a deadly game to be reckless with fentanyl. Therefore, any new law that holds people accountable for those reckless acts is a positive step forward,” Nienhuis said. “ We all need to be committed to stopping the overwhelming number of overdoses and overdose deaths caused by Fentanyl (and) the only way that will happen is by attacking the problem from every angle and making it socially unacceptable to have anything to do with dangerous drugs.”
SB 718 goes into effect on Oct. 1.

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