West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy chief retiring

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Jim Johnson, director of the West Virginia’s new Office of Drug Control Policy, has announced his retirement after almost five months in the position.

The office within the Department of Health and Human Resources was established by lawmakers to coordinate and expand state measures against drug abuse.

West Virginia has had the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate and recorded 884 fatalities in 2016.

Johnson was director of Huntington’s Office of Drug Control Policy from 2014 until his retirement there last year. He previously was interim police chief and a police officer in Huntington for more than 40 years.

Department Secretary Bill Crouch says Johnson will continue to work part-time in special projects.

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