Watch the livestream here.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local law enforcement leaders held a public forum on fentanyl and the impact it is having on Kern County Thursday evening.

Local leaders spoke during a panel discussion Thursday on fentanyl and the “silent epidemic” of people abusing the synthetic opioid.

Bakersfield Recovery Services hosted the panel which included a Q&A with District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, along with representatives from the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

The talked about the destructive nature of the drug and its impact on our community and the criminal justice system.

“In the last five years, each year as we go, the fentanyl overdose fatalities are doubling. So we’ve looked at the statistics since about 2016. This year, we had over 200 fatalities and that’s more than homicide cases, murder cases in Kern County,” Zimmer said.