Another police department is hoping to save lives by carrying a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Starting this week, every officer in Winter Haven will have a unit of Naloxone on them at all times. They've gone through training on how to administer the drug.
If they're on the scene of a drug overdose before EMTs get there, they'll be able to use it. They can also administer it to a fellow officer or a K9 if they happen to come into contact with fentanyl.
“You don't want to just sit there and watch someone die, and you don't want to be hopeless in what you can and can't do,” Chief Charlie Bird said. “This gives them something on their tool belt to where they're able to deal with the situation and save someone's life.”
The department has chosen a nasal spray version of the drug. It's a little more expensive than the injection form, but officers won't have to measure out a specific dosage. The FDA approved nasal spray Naloxone in 2015 and says it’s just as effective as an injection.
The Winter Haven Police Department used money seized from crimes to make the $6,000 purchase.