MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thanks to a state grant, the West Memphis Police Department recently got 73 narcan kits.
Assistant Chief Robert Langston says his officers have been trained in narcan and equipped with kits since 2017.
“Our officers have used eight of those kits. Our paramedics here in town have used three of our West Memphis PD kits and then one of our officers actually thought he came in contact with something that made him feel like he needed to deploy the kit on himself,” said Langston.
Langston says between 2015 and 2017, West Memphis saw seven overdose-related deaths, five of which were in 2017. He says the opioid epidemic can impact anyone.
“One was in their 70′s and I think we’ve had as low as probably 18 [years old],” said Langston.
The kits are for one time use only and typically cost $50 each.
They include two doses of narcan, a CPR shield, gloves, a cleaning pad and a pamphlet with information on drug treatment for the person being treated.
Langston says the kits give officers an opportunity to assist in overdose-related calls.
"You're kind of helpless. It gives our officers a route to kind of take care of that while we wait on paramedics to get there," said Langston.
Ultimately, Langston is thankful his officers are prepared, but is hopeful they won't see many of these calls.
“I’m hoping we’re going to see this start falling and not be an issue as bad as it is now and in the last few years,” said Langston.