Home News Operation BRIDGE Wraps Up: Ross County Takes Aim at Drug Trafficking and...

Operation BRIDGE Wraps Up: Ross County Takes Aim at Drug Trafficking and Addiction


Chillicothe, Ohio – In a collaborative effort to combat drug trafficking and extend a lifeline to those battling addiction, Ross County recently concluded its first Operation BRIDGE of 2024. Spearheaded by the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS), RecoveryOhio, and the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, the two-day event aimed to purge illegal substances from the streets while facilitating access to treatment for individuals grappling with substance use disorder.

Law enforcement agencies, supported by local treatment organizations, embarked on a strategic sweep across Ross County, targeting drug suppliers and offering a helping hand to those in need of support. The initiative, aptly named Operation BRIDGE (Bridging Recovery and Interdiction Data Gathering Enforcement), exemplified a holistic approach to addressing the opioid crisis plaguing communities.

Kristen Slaper, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Initiatives at DPS, underscored the efficacy of the comprehensive strategy. “Every county that has held an Operation BRIDGE saturation event has seen a marked decrease in overdoses for several weeks afterward. That is proof that lives are being saved,” she emphasized.

Over the course of Operation BRIDGE, law enforcement efforts yielded significant results, with four arrests made and substantial quantities of illicit substances confiscated, including 7 grams of cocaine and 35 grams of methamphetamine. Moreover, 16 individuals were seamlessly transitioned into treatment programs, marking a pivotal step toward recovery.

RecoveryOhio played a pivotal role in the mission, collaborating closely with local agencies and distributing 75 naloxone kits. Naloxone, a medication capable of reversing opioid overdoses, was instrumental in saving lives during the operation.

Aimee Shadwick, Director of RecoveryOhio, emphasized the initiative’s profound impact on combating substance use disorder. “Operation BRIDGE is not just a strategy; it’s a testament to our commitment to helping people with substance use disorder,” she affirmed, highlighting the initiative’s proactive approach to addressing a pressing public health issue.

Participating agencies, including the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, Chillicothe Police Department, and various state law enforcement bodies, underscored the importance of collaboration in tackling drug-related challenges.

As the operation drew to a close, authorities urged individuals struggling with addiction to seek help promptly. Ross County residents in need of treatment options were encouraged to contact the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force or visit recoveryohio.gov/get-help.

Governor DeWine’s steadfast commitment to combating the opioid epidemic, evidenced by the creation of the RecoveryOhio initiative in 2019, continues to drive aggressive measures aimed at safeguarding the health and well-being of Ohio citizens.