- Jessica Wehrman Washington Bureau
Rep. Warren Davidson, R–Troy, invited Troy Fire Chief Matt Simmons to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address with him.
Simmons has been on the forefront of his city’s response to the opioid epidemic and has been part of a partnership involving first responders, the sheriff, the jail, addiction services and the faith community to respond to the crisis. Those who overdose, he said, receive a follow-up visit from paramedics and police where first responders reach out and offer treatment and resources aimed at helping addicts recover. The faith-based communities, meanwhile, also offer addicts an alternative.
“There’s a perception that everything is going downhill,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the case. I think when the community really gets back to our roots of people helping people, that there is hope.”
Similarly, Sen. Rob Portman, R–Ohio, has invited Jay McDonald, President of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and Vice President of the National Fraternal Order of Police as his guest because of (FOP), will accompany him as his guest because of his work fighting the opioid epidemic. Portman and McDonald have also worked closely together to fight online sex trafficking. “Jay is a good friend and a terrific ambassador for law enforcement across the state of Ohio, and I’m pleased that he will be joining me for the State of the Union,” Portman said.
And Rep. Steve Stivers, R–Upper Arlington, is bringing Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses., also because of his guest’s work fighting the epidemic.
“Judge Moses runs one of the most successful and innovative drug courts in the state, and has been a strong leader in fighting the opioid epidemic,” Stivers said. “I have been proud to work with him on this issue, and I hope to hear more about the president’s strategy to combat the opioid epidemic on Tuesday.”