North Mississippi officers trained to save opioid overdose victims

North Mississippi officers trained to save opioid overdose victims
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

WALLS, MS (WMC) - Walls Police Department in DeSoto County is now equipped and trained to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Opioid deaths are now at epidemic levels in DeSoto County. That's why Walls PD decided to make sure all officers were trained to handle overdose calls.

Chief Herb Brewer said he and his department are trying to save lives.

"[Narcan] is another tool in our belt to help save lives," Brewer said.

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics said DeSoto County has had more opioid deaths than any other county in Mississippi through the first six months of 2017.

Brewer's entire department went through a class designed to teach the officers how to use Narcan on a citizen who has overdosed.

Angela Mallette, who taught the class, said there are certain things officers need to look for when they arrive on scene to determine if someone has had an opioid overdose.

First, see if the person has small pupils. Second, listen for a death rattle (a noisy, labored breathing) in the back of the person's throat.

"Narcan saves lives every day all over the country," Mallette said. "It actually brings them back from the dead."

After officers completed the class, they were given 20 vials of Narcan that they can use to serve the community.

The Narcan is being paid for with state grant money.

Since the end of July, Mississippi has handed out more than 3,000 vials of Narcan to law enforcement and first responders.

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