Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone Speaks To Rotarians About Fentanyl Crisis Plaguing Los Alamos And New Mexico

Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone speaking to Rotarians Tuesday about the fentanyl crisis plaguing New Mexico, including six suspected overdose deaths so far this year in Los Alamos. Photo by Linda Hull

Vice President
Rotary Club of Los Alamos

Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone spoke at the May 30 meeting of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos held at Cottonwood on the Greens. Invited in tribute to local law enforcement, Chief Sgambellone was accompanied by Deputy Chief Oliver Morris, a Rotarian.

Chief Sgambellone addressed the New Mexico fentanyl crisis, which has brought tremendous heartache to Los Alamos, especially in recent weeks. Six deaths so far in the county this year have been “suspected overdoses”.

In 2020, for which there is most recent data, New Mexico had one of the nation’s highest overdose death rates with roughly one-third being linked to fentanyl.

To combat the crisis, the Los Alamos Police Department has undertaken a number of approaches to educate the community. They include training school personnel on the signs of drug and alcohol impairment, providing Narcan or Naloxone to middle school and high school nurses, expanding the DARE (drug abuse resistance education) program in elementary schools, collaborating with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and Teen Court, and sponsoring Hawk Hangout at SALA for middle schoolers. This is only a brief glimpse of LAPD’s wide educational outreach about drug abuse. Officers have also arrested two individuals who allegedly sold illegal drugs to high school students.

Sgambellone’s law enforcement career began in 1991 in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. Upon retiring there as Chief of Police, he then accepted the Chief’s position in Los Alamos. Since that time, the County has “achieved record low crime” and the police department has become nationally accredited. November will mark Sgambellone’s 10th anniversary as Los Alamos Police Chief.


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