Carlisle is in the process of developing a policy that would allow village police to carry naloxone, or Narcan, in their cruisers.
Police Chief Michael Bruck told Village Council at a recent work-session that officers are usually the first to arrive to heroin overdoses and could help to save someone’s life before paramedics arrive and suggested officers be permitted to carry the overdose reversal drug.
Bruck, a former Middletown police chief, said the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is recommending communities have police carry the reversal drug to get an overdose victim to start breathing again. He also said there is immunity provided to police who administer the drug trying to save someone’s life.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Bruck said. He said if users know police are carrying the drug in their cruises, “it may embolden them and may get something stronger. However, heroin addiction is a medical problem, he said.
He told council he is looking for a low cost/no cost solution so officers can have the drug on hand to save a victim or in case of an innocent victim or officer who gets exposed.
The drug is available at most pharmacies and costs about $75 a dose. It can be purchased by anyone without a prescription.
“Some people who have drug users in their family may have some of the drug at home for an overdose emergency,” according to Andy Riddiogh, Joint Emergency Medical Services chief.
Riddiogh said he supports Bruck’s proposal and wants to work with Carlisle police in implementing the program.
Village Manager Sherry Callahan said council wanted to see a policy developed to assist police. After she develops a policy, Carlisle Village Council could consider it sometime at an upcoming meeting.
If approved, Carlisle would join Dayton police, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Highway Patrol and Miami University police among law enforcement agencies whose officers carry Narcan. Other local police departments do not carry the drug in cruisers, citing prompt EMS response times to incidents.
Warren County Chief Deputy Barry Riley said training is being rolled out this month for deputies for self-administration and administering it on other people. Riley said deputies should be fully trained and equipped as early as next month.
The Warren County Health Department has purchased and stocked the Narcan through a state grant for deputies to use.
Miami University police Chief John McCandless said over the past school break in January, every officer was trained and is equipped with two doses of Narcan.
We’ve not seen it on campus,” he said. “It’s a minimal investment. In the off-chance we come across it, we’re prepared to administer the Narcan. There is value in having it.”