House Speaker Scott Bedke’s take on Operation Esto Perpetua, fentanyl in Idaho
Like most Idahoans, I was aware of fentanyl’s growing presence in our state. However, I was unaware of the gravity of the threat it poses to Idaho.
My appointment to and my participation in Governor Little’s Esto Perpetua working group has opened my eyes to this looming and ever-increasing problem. I now understand the dangers fentanyl poses to our Idaho communities, our law enforcement at all levels, our first responders, and our Idaho families.
Here are some of my takeaways:
Fentanyl is in every part of the state; no community is immune.
Fentanyl is extremely potent, dangerous, and inexpensive.
Fentanyl is highly addictive.
Most fentanyl in Idaho is sourced from Mexico and arrives in the U.S through our porous southern national border.
Idaho law enforcement, at every level, is absolutely committed to community safety and security and they are doing a great job combatting something that was not on most people’s radar five years ago. But most experts agree that we will not be able to “arrest” our way out of this problem. Rather, it will take a multi-faceted approach that will provide adequate resources to law enforcement, including the court system, as well as our social services delivery systems. Increased success will require increased communication and coordination among all agencies of law enforcement – local, county, state and federal.
The fentanyl crisis is real and it is growing at an alarming rate. This drug has already claimed too many lives. But many of our citizens are unaware of the gravity of the situation. It’s time to open their eyes to the deadly danger that fentanyl poses. We need increased education for Idahoans of all ages, but especially among our young people who are particularly vulnerable.
I applaud Governor Little and his ongoing efforts to protect our state and its citizens from the dangers and the societal costs imposed by illegal drugs. The Esto Perpetua Task Force is an integral part of those efforts, and I am certain it will help us arrive at meaningful and effective solutions.