Massillon Police Department buys gloves to prevent officers from getting stabbed with heroin needles

Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 14, 2016

The Massillon Police Department is equipping its officers with protective gloves amid a deadly heroin epidemic. 

The department purchased TurtleSkin poke- and stab-resistant gloves for each officer, according to the department's Facebook page. 

"With the heroin problem we have not only in Stark County, but across our nation, law enforcement officers are at an increased risk of getting poked by a dirty needle," the Facebook post reads.

The gloves were bought by money raised in a raffle for a Ford Mustang. The gloves cost about $80 a pair. 

The resurgence of the dangerous street drug, which rose to prominence in the 1970s, has made a toehold in Ohio. Officials in Akron reported 660 suspected heroin overdoses since June 5. In Cuyahoga County, 52 people died from heroin overdoses, making August the deadliest month in history. More than a dozen people died from overdoses in the first week of September. 

On Tuesday, Ohio's Good Samaritan law took effect. It offers immunity from prosecution to people trying to get help for someone overdosing on drugs or overdose victims themselves who seek assistance.

The law covers people calling 911, contacting a police officer or taking an overdose victim to a medical facility for up to two times. They would again be subject to prosecution on the third call.

The legislation is one of several efforts by Ohio to stem the tide of the addictions epidemic, which killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year, an average of eight per day.