‘Enforce laws, prosecute offenders,’ councilmember says of King County’s fentanyl problem

Jul 20, 2022, 2:50 PM

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn spearheaded a push for the county to declare fentanyl a “public health emergency,” with the decision passing unanimously earlier this week.

“It’s just incredible that the decriminalization of drugs and drug dealers, including drug dealers who are dealing fentanyl and killing people, is one of the big problems we have,” Dunn said on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “Fentanyl certainly is a public health crisis because it’s the leading cause of death for men between 18 and 45.”

Seattle Police seized nearly 650,000 fentanyl-based pills in 2021 alone, according to Dunn, noting that the number of pills was 10 times the number seized in 2020.

Amid ever-rising overdose deaths, King County votes to declare fentanyl a public health crisis

“Last year alone, the number of people who died from fentanyl more than doubled in King County to 396 people compared to the 170 people who died in 2020,” said Dunn ahead of a final vote on his proposal to declare fentanyl a public health crisis.

The DEA describes fentanyl as a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Many who take it are not aware of what they are taking because often it is disguised to look like a legitimate prescription pain reliever or added to heroin and other drugs without the user’s knowledge. Because of its high potency, fentanyl is deadly in very small doses.

“I think people are sick and tired of the defund, disarm, and disparage the police as an approach to public safety. We’ve seen record homicides last year in Washington state, ” Dunn said. “The public wants to see the laws enforced. They want to see violent criminals put behind bars where they can’t re-offend. They want to see drug dealers and members of cartels coming across our border not being stopped. We have got to secure our borders, lock them down, hold drug dealers accountable and prosecute the hell out of those who will violate our laws so they can’t re-offend.”

Dunn, a five-time Republican King County Councilmember, is currently running for election to the U.S. House to represent Washington’s 8th Congressional District. He is on the ballot in the primary on August 2.

Standing in his way is incumbent representative Kim Schrier (D).

“She has a 100% voting record with Joe Biden, 100%. And she has perpetuated that agenda, adding $10 trillion to the new debt, dramatically increasing inflation,” Dunn said. “She was very much a part of that disparage the police movement. She is a downtown Seattle liberal and her rhetoric, she talks like a moderate, but she votes like a progressive liberal for downtown Seattle. She’s worried about me. She just attacked me yesterday in a hit piece.

“I’m going to take her on, on the issues. Voters aren’t going to put up with that any longer. Those are failed policies,” Dunn continued. “And that’s why every poll I’ve seen, I’m beating Kim Schrier, and I look forward to the chance to come to the primary and take her on.”

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‘Enforce laws, prosecute offenders,’ councilmember says of King County’s fentanyl problem