Butler County, Ohio - Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones has publicly stated that his deputies will never carry Narcan, the drug which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Many other departments don't want to use Narcan, and for a variety of reasons. Officers aren't medical professionals and departments don't want them administering medication. Narcan can be a financial burden on a tight police budget.
I've even had private conversations with law enforcement administrators who said that they oppose carrying Narcan simply because it's absurd that police officers should have to respond and then eat up their budgets repeatedly saving the same people who won't stop abusing drugs.
None of those reasons are why Sheriff Butler said that his deputies won't carry Narcan.
When asked about deputies administering Narcan, the sheriff said, "They never carried it. Nor will they. That's my stance," according to Cincinnati.com.
The sheriff told The Enquirer that when people are revived with Narcan, they are often angry and can react violently. This makes it an officer-safety issue for officers who administer the drug. It's an excuse that doesn't make much sense.
It's true that people can react violently when they are revived with Narcan. After all, you just took away their high and gave them a raging headache. They worked hard to steal that $10 to get high. It makes no difference to them if they were effectively dead prior to being revived; they're pissed.
This is part of the reason why police to get dispatched to overdose calls with medics. Police officers are there to stand by in case the situation gets out of control.
Sheriff Rick Jones's Deputies would still need to provide protection for EMTs, unless the sheriff is refusing to protect them as well.
As far as danger to officers goes, reviving people with Narcan is near the bottom of the list of dangerous things we do.
If an officer arrives at an overdose, they are generally dealing with an unconscious person who's about as dangerous as a corpse. Officers have the chance to remove all weapons and get in a position where the person can be restrained prior to reviving the person.
Risking a fight with an unarmed person, lying on the ground, who was just about dead, is probably less dangerous than conducting a traffic stop.
I can't say for sure, but I suspect that Sheriff Jones is opposed to Narcan because he's opposed to taxpayers repeatedly paying to save addicts from themselves. Perhaps that's something that you just can't say when you're an elected official.
Do you think that officers should carry Narcan? We'd like to hear from you. please let us know in the comments.