At least four Central Florida law enforcement leaders are taking part in a trip to the southern U.S. border to get a first-hand look at the ongoing crisis there.
Pictures posted to social media Thursday showed the visit, which was organized by Florida Congresswoman Kat Cammack. It comes as the number of people trying to cross the border into the U.S. has jumped this year, leading to concerns over increased drug trafficking.
Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged to support Texas and Arizona’s efforts securing the border in June, calling on other agencies to help in what he called a “chaotic crisis.”
“It is both a disaster and an emergency,” the governor said during a June news conference. “Where the federal government has failed, the states are stepping up.”
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood tweeted about his visit, calling the border crisis “a humanitarian & public safety issue we need to solve as Americans & as human beings.”
At the border w/ @RepKatCammack & FL sheriffs. Came to see this crisis 1st hand. Talking to those facing it every day is an eye-opener. This shouldn’t be a GOP vs. Dem political issue. It’s a humanitarian & public safety issue we need to solve as Americans & as human beings. pic.twitter.com/zzxUA9FtLf— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) July 15, 2021
Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken is also on this trip, posting on Facebook that the fight against the opioid epidemic costs the city “tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of manpower hours.”
DeSantis said previously that there has been an uptick in the presence of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and overdoses in the state due to the illegal substances crossing the border with migrants.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly are also at the border as part of the trip.