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Viewpoint: Protecting our communities

Over the past several months, I have held listening sessions and meetings across Wisconsin with law enforcement, school officials, local leaders and Wisconsinites about the safety and health of our communities. While concerns differ from Amherst to Wauzeka, one thing is clear: we're facing an all-hands-on-deck moment in Wisconsin.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that shows Wisconsin had a 109 percent increase in opioid overdose emergency room visits and hospitalizations in 2017. The drug epidemic is destroying Wisconsin families and communities, and needs a thorough and collaborative plan of attack in every community.

I'm meeting with law enforcement officials, rural doctors and nurses, drug treatment officials, and families of those suffering from addiction to hear directly about how we can redirect and rebuild our communities. Soon, I'll release a comprehensive plan that gives more resources to our local communities, expands access to the care people need, and improves prescribing practices.

School safety is another major concern I'm hearing about from parents, teachers and students. I believe no parent should ever be worried about their child's safety when they board the bus, which is why I'm meeting with administrators, school police liaisons, teachers and students to hear from them about what we can do to keep Wisconsin kids safe.

If you have similar concerns or want to discuss an issue you're facing you in your community, don't hesitate to reach out. Call my office at 1-888-442-8040 or visit kind.house.gov.

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