About this Event:
With a staggering 72,000 fatal overdoses, 2017 was the deadliest year for drug abuse in American history, more than half these from the single drug fentanyl. Kentucky, with the third-highest overdose rate in the nation, is essentially ground zero. While this poses significant challenges to local law enforcement, public health workers, and lawmakers, the problem is truly global in scale. Illegal synethtic opioids like fentanyl often have their origins in China and Mexico, forming part of a vast supply chain that ends in communities like those in rural Kentucky. The only way to solve the crisis is cooperation between local and federal forces, as well as between the U.S. and the countries where these drugs originate.
Join us for this panel discussion as James A. Walsh, second in command of the State Department’s narcotics division, is joined by representatives from the LMPD, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, and Volunteers of America, where they will discuss the causes of and solutions to the tragedy gripping our country. The discussion will be moderated by Stephen George of Louisville Public Media.
The program will be followed by a private dinner with the panelists at Saffron’s Persian Restaurant. Tickets to the dinner must be purchased by Tuesday, November 13.
7:30 Dinner at Saffron’s Persian Restaurant
James A. Walsh is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Since 2015 he has served in various INL senior leadership roles, such as directing State Department law enforcement and rule of law assistance activities in Europe and Asia. Prior to joining the Department, Walsh worked in the private sector for five years supporting Fortune 500 companies, and served nearly eight years in the U.S. Army where he had several overseas deployments leading aviation units.
Van Ingram is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. He joined ODCP in 2004, shortly after it was created with the mission of coordinating Kentucky’s substance abuse efforts in enforcement, treatment and prevention/education. He previously served as Chief of Police for the Maysville Kentucky Police Department, and is a certified law enforcement instructor, having trained officers across the state on community-oriented policing and substance abuse issues.
Lt. Col. LaVita M. Chavous is the Assistant Chief and Support Bureau Command of the Louisville Metro Police Department. With 27 years of varied experience, she began her career in law enforcement in 1991 with the Louisville Police Department, serving as a patrol officer and later a detective in the Street Crimes and Narcotics Units. She currently commands the Support Bureau and manages LMPD’s Major Crimes, Narcotics, Community Services, and Special Operations Divisions.
Jennifer Hancock is the President and CEO of Volunteers of America of Mid-States. She has devoted her 20 year career to social justice and serving those who most need our community’s support and advocacy, 11 years of which have been spent with VOA. She also operates a private practice in mental health counseling services and is adjunct faculty at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work.
Stephen George is the President and General Manager of Louisville Public Media, a role he has served in since January 2018. He joined LPM as an executive editor in 2015. He is an award-winning journalist who was previously editor of the Nashville City Paper and LEO Weekly.