STAMFORD, Conn. – All Stamford police officers will begin carrying the opioid-blocking drug naloxone, better known as NARCAN, as the opioid crisis grows in the city.
In June alone, officers responded to more than 32 overdose cases that required the use of life-saving Narcan, Director of Public Safety Ted Jankowski said.
Narcan is an antidote that is designed to block the effects of opioids and reverse the symptoms of an overdose. Its use can be a life-saving measure for someone who has overdosed.
“The opioid epidemic has been affecting cities all over the country and Stamford is not immune,” Mayor David Martin said Wednesday. “Having the Stamford Police Department carry naloxone is a safety measure for the police officers and for our residents. There are few downsides to using Narcan. If an officer is exposed to highly potent opioid fentanyl and experiencing opioid intoxication, or for an overdose to a resident, the immediate use of Narcan can mean the difference between life and death.”
Jankowski agreed. “We have seen a large increase in potential opioid intoxication with more than 32 overdose responses requiring Narcan administration last month," he said. "Stamford Fire and EMS crews already carry NARCAN to emergency calls and have saved many lives. Having police officers equipped with Narcan will provide an increased level of safety for police officers while providing for the safety of residents.”
Police Chief Jon Fontneau pointed to the life-saving potential of the new practice. “Our police have been the first-on-scene to suspected overdoses, and because they will now be carrying NARCAN, they will be able to immediately begin life-saving procedures for residents while also having the ability to protect themselves.”
The State Department of Public Health provided the NARCAN packs to be carried by officers.
All Stamford police officers began training on how to administer Narcan at roll call this week.
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