From the desk of Sheriff Prummell-
I recently received an email from someone in our community that had been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The message was sincere and moving, so I had the Community Affairs team reach out and ask for her permission to share her story. Please take a minute to read this, because I believe it illustrates that “rock bottom” is an opportunity for a new beginning, and how a person’s true strength may be revealed in their darkest hour.
I have removed only information that would identify the individual or the deputies/law enforcement officers.
“I would like to thank your office and officers for helping to save and protect my life. I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for 14 long years and that last 6 of it at complete rock bottom, getting arrested twice for minor offenses that could have been alot worse and being homeless living in a car and in the woods and your officers, God bless them, were so amazing and were with me EVERY step of the way. Even to the point of pulling me over one night literally at the entrance of Babcock Ranch where I was going to sleep that night for something minor of course but mainly to talk to me, see how I was doing and basically made me feel safe and not alone. I didn’t get that particular officer’s name…
“I am clean and sober finally now and have been for years. The last day I ever took a pain pill after struggling with a severe roxycodone addiction was 9/11/2017 and I know that because you guys arrested me that day. Thank you! It snapped me back to reality and made me realize there are people that do still care and it was not ok or normal what I was doing to myself.
I DID get the names of alot of your other officers who were there with me every step of the way and would like to acknowledge them… (Removed for confidentiality)
…There are so many that I could not possibly name them all and they are all my heros and guardian angels. Even now that I live in Punta Gorda the Police Department has been wonderful as well, (Removed for confidentiality) and even the FWC Officer (Removed for confidentiality) who came and checked on us in the woods.
Sheriff Prummell you run a very respectable, top notch department and I have nothing but respect for the Men and Women who put our lives and safety above their own every day. Thank you so much for saving and changing my life.”
Stories like this one resonate with me, as this individual was able to get her life back on track from a place that very few come back from. My deputies did their jobs, but also demonstrated a level of courtesy and compassion that made her realize there were people who cared about her. That compassion inspired her to change the trajectory of her life, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Thank you to the letter writer for sharing your story. It is my hope that it inspires others in our community who need help to seek it out.
As always, I want to remind everyone out there about my Drug Addiction Recovery Initiative, which is in place to help those very people rather than placing them under arrest. Please, if you have an addiction, reach out before it’s too late. We are here for you.
CCSO Non-Emergency Line – (941) 639-0013