CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The recent death of an 18-year-old has prompted the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office to request more manpower to combat drug overdoses.
On April 12, Narcotics Division Lt. Shannon Heflin responded to the suspected drug overdose death of Tyler Scott. Heflin suspects Scott died of a heroin-fentanyl mix.
“The first thing that hits my mind that they were somebody’s baby, that somebody loved them,” Heflin said. “Coming out and seeing his mother pull up on the scene and watching her emotions, you know, you will never get used to that.”
Now, Heflin and the Cheatam County Sheriff’s Office are asking the county commission for three new narcotics agents to help their department implement more proactive policing practices.
“With 26 overdose fatalities in 2022, we’re still actively investigating the majority of those cases and it takes a lot of manpower and a lot of time. This year we’re already at six. We’re not able to be proactive and attack the problem up front,” Heflin said.
While Heflin looks for solutions in his own county, he believes other steps are also needed.
“We’re not going to be able to stop until everybody comes together, our lawmakers are going to have to make the laws stronger, president’s going to have to stand up, shut the border down, and there’s got to be more legislation in place to make it a stiffer penalty. I mean this stuff is poison, it’s killing people.”
According to Heflin, Cheatham County has the highest heroin overdose deaths per capita in Tennessee. He said he’ll advocate for more resources until the problem is under control.
“Seeing the other family members come up, his brother, watching them mourn and just the mental anguish that they’re going through suffering from the loss of a child who suffered from addiction,” Heflin said following Scott’s death. “It’s just something that you’ll never get used to.”