According to Washtenaw County Health Department data, over 350 residents have died of an overdose since 2018 as a result of opioids and fentanyl. Ken is committed to eradicating the distribution of these drugs and supporting citizens of our community on their road to recovery. Through his experiences as a Federal agent, Ken learned that enforcement is just one tool of many to address substance use disorders. Ken has created an acronym that outlines his approach to combating the opioid/fentanyl epidemic: P.E.T.E.R., which stands for Prevention, Enforcement, Treatment, Education, and Recovery. When elected, Ken will set out to hold major distributors of opioids accountable while simultaneously educating the public on what we can all do to support our fellow community members suffering with substance use disorders. Ken plans for the Sheriff's department to serve on the frontlines to end overdose deaths in Washtenaw County.
Prevention - Prevent illicit drug use by partnering with schools and community organizations to increase the availability of afterschool programs. These programs will allow the public to build relationships with law enforcement officers and deter our youth from falling into illicit drug use. Additionally, Ken believes that we must collaborate with the medical community to limit and monitor the prescription of opioids, intervening at the source of the crisis.
Enforcement - By participating in multi-agency taskforces, investigators will be able to locate, investigate, and apprehend drug dealers & traffickers. The crisis will not stop until we cut off the supply of opioids entering our community. Enforcement is not limited to only drug dealers, as Ken wants to hold irresponsible medical providers and pharmacies accountable for their role in the prevalence of opioids on our streets. Ken's message is simple, arrest and rehabilitate drug dealers and treat citizens with substance use disorders as medical patients.
Treatment - Ken is adamant that citizens with substance use disorders need treatment and should be treated as patients, not criminals. The Sheriff’s Department must be committed to finding alternatives to criminal penalties and providing treatment for those that need it. Ken has pledged to repurpose part of the county jail to create a treatment facility, a promise that broadcasts his promotion of rehabilitation. Opioid and fentanyl overdose deaths increasingly harm minority communities, with the greatest increase in deaths coming from African-Americans (up 44%) and Hispanics (up 39%). Ken realizes the racial nuances that makeup this crisis and will lead the Sheriff’s office in administering equitable treatment for afflicted community members. For several years, Ken has been predicting the surge in overdose deaths, while current officials have ignored this crisis countless lives have been lost.
Education - Commit to improving the education surrounding the issue of illicit drug use in our community, specifically highlighting P.E.T.E.R. through community events both in-person and virtual. The opioid/fentanyl epidemic won’t end until everyone is properly informed on the matter; that’s why Ken places such priority on educating community members and elected officials on concrete steps they can take to assist in the eradication of the opioid epidemic.
Recovery - Support recovering drug users on their journey towards sobriety and wellness. Ken understands that recovery is a long, difficult process. Recovery is a culmination of P.E.T.E.R. and under Ken’s leadership, the Sheriff's department understands the healing process and includes it in its message to end this crisis.
Compassion is needed for those suffering from substance use disorder. Accountability is needed for those dealing illicit drugs.