The Akron Police Department says officers will be trained to administer the life-saving drug naloxone and all cruisers will be equipped with the drug by the end of August.
“This is a simple next step to the onerous fight against this epidemic. Statistically, EMS arrives before the Akron Police Department the vast majority of the time, yet in those crucial first responder moments when APD does arrive first, I want our officers to be able to save a life,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Heroin has become a growing concern around the country and our region, specifically, in Summit County, for the past three to five years. However, no one could have predicted the introduction of fentanyl and especially now carfentanil and the damage they both could cause. It’s imperative that we continue to work closely with our County partners and local elected officials to find effective solutions.”
Akron has seen a massive spike in opioid overdoses recently, with as many as 173 in July. Many authorities are blaming the increase on the presence of Carfentanil, a powerful sedative typically used on elephants and other large animals.
According to Akron officials, the fire department and EMS has used naloxone as a part of their advanced life support drugs for over 20 years. The city will work with Akron Regional Hospital Association to supply EMS and Akron Police Department with enough naloxone to respond to overdoses.