DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Congresswoman Kat Cammack and several Florida law enforcement leaders traveled to the southern border this week, describing the situation there as a humanitarian crisis.
"In a word, what we've seen has been heartbreaking on so many levels," said Congresswoman Cammack, R-Gainesville.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood was among the sheriffs and police chiefs who attended. He described what he saw as "heartbreaking" and "angering."
"This is not a Democratic, Republican, or independent issue. This is an American issue. This is about protecting our cities and our communities and by the same token people that truly need help to give them help," he said.
He said drugs are pouring into communities nationwide, including Central Florida. He said Volusia County has seen a 17% increase in overdoses compared to last year.
"And if you think of that poison coming into our communities, it’s destroying the quality of life for everybody in Florida, when I talked to my other sheriffs here from Flagler and Marion County their overdoses are way up as well," he said.
"We won't police ourselves out of this in Ocala if it doesn't get under control here in Texas," said Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken.
Sheriff Chitwood said his goal is for Americans to see what’s happening. As of right now, no Volusia County deputies are stationed at the border, but sheriff Chitwood said they would be ready to respond if needed.
"I know when the governor calls and asks for Volusia County sheriff’s deputies to help the border patrol, we will be down here with bells on," he said.