NOBLESVILLE, Ind (WISH) – A lifesaving tool will soon be coming to Hamilton County.
Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen showed 24-Hour News 8 the blue box Monday that could make a big difference. “It’s something that’s been on our radar for a while,” Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen said.
Inside the box is the drug Narcan used to combat heroin. “Just like rest of the country, we’ve experienced our fair share of issues with opioid drugs, prescription drugs and now the heroin epidemic,” Bowen said.
Right now, some EMS personnel carry the spray. But if deputies arrive to a scene first, Bowen wants them to have Narcan in cruisers. It would also be available at the jail.
“It’s important for us to have the tools necessary to deal with these overdose issues and get the help to these people as quickly as possible,” Sheriff Bowen said.
The sheriff’s office will become the first law enforcement agency in the county to start using Narcan. But what about the other police departments?
24-Hour News 8 checked in every single one of them, and each department says it’s currently assessing using Narcan, including the Sheridan Police Department. “I didn’t think it was going to get that bad,” Sheridan Police Chief Bob Shock said. “But as times change, as things change unfortunately… like I said, if we can save one life, it’s worth it.”
Shock said funding is the problem. He’d like to have his officers equipped, but he’s waiting on money.
“A lot of times if our fire department is out, they have one or two medics on staff and they would have to bring medics from Westfield or Noblesville area to assist,” Shock said. “And if we can help them ahead of the game, I think we’re better off.”
Money was an issue for the sheriff’s office, too. But grants and other organizations helped them raise $6,000 to bring the life-saving measures.
“This is just the first step in making sure that we’re able to save their life and get them on track to hopefully a recovery and future success,” Bowen said.
The spray only has a shelf life of two years. To save money, the sheriff said he’s established an exchange program with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department as they get close to the two year mark.