Program to Fund Narcan for Police

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There are roughly 200 overdoses a year in Jefferson County.   Sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers often, are the ones who get there first. That's why Sheriff John Burns wants Narcan at the sides of his deputies, so instead of watching a victim lie unconciouncious, deputies can do something to try and save the person's life.

"There's a number of calls where the deputies or the police are first on scene and every second counts," said Burns.

Now there's a program that could help. At a press conference this week, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the Community Overdose Prevention Program, also known as the backronym COP.  COP would allow departments to pay for Noloxone, the generic form of Narcan. It stops the effects of opiodes like heroin and some painkillers.

COP would also fund training.

"A lot of this money was actually confiscated from drug dealers so it's very appropriate that we're using it to equip every law enforcement officer in the State with Naloxone," said Schneiderman.

Right now, EMS workers with special training can administer the drug. Last year, the Jefferson County Legislature looked at whether to allow Jefferson County deputies to carry the drug as well. They said no because of financial concerns. Now the COP program takes care of that problem. 

"It's going to be a positive thing that the state is going to use some of the money they seize from drug dealers to help pay for a program to try and help those who overdose on those same drugs," said John Peck, R-7.

Sheriff Burns says he plans to approach the County legislature after doing more research on the program. Legislator John Peck says his only concern is that the county would get stuck with a bill if the COP funding stops.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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