Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma will chair the Transition Advisory Committee Working Group on Opioid Abuse for Florida Attorney General-elect Ashley Moody.

Lemma will work closely with Moody and others to gather information on best practices to stop the influx of opioids, raise awareness, and reduce the death toll of the crisis that claims 14 lives a day in Florida, her transition office stated Wednesday. The group will work with experts in addiction, treatment, prevention, drug interdiction and criminal prosecution toward developing a Florida-specific comprehensive plan.

“Combating the opioid crisis is one of my top priorities, and beginning on day one, as Florida’s Attorney General, I will aggressively pursue strategies to fight addiction, increase access to treatment and lock up drug traffickers,” Moody said in the release. “As chair, Sheriff Lemma will be a strong partner as we continue to work to identify innovative interdiction, treatment and prevention strategies to end this crisis and save lives.”

Lemma has more than 26 years of experience in law enforcement and was elected Seminole County Sheriff in 2016. He serves as part of the Seminole County Opioid and Heroin Task Force, which is pursuing a holistic strategy incorporating government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations to fight opioid abuse.

“As a former judge and federal prosecutor, Attorney General-elect Moody has witnessed firsthand, the pain and destruction caused by drug addiction. I am incredibly grateful for the confidence and trust that she has placed in other members of the Transition Advisory Committee and me,” Lemma stated in the release. “I welcome this role, serving as working group chair, and look forward to working with Attorney General-elect Moody and others to gather the information necessary to develop a comprehensive plan to combat this crisis.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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