National News

Conyers issues drug protection gear to officers

Posted October 6

— The Conyers Police Department has issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all of its officers in order to protect them against exposure to Fentanyl and other dangerous drugs. The kits contain basic protective equipment that include: nitrile gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask with an appropriate safety rating to prevent accidental inhalation of harmful substances.

The use of synthetic opioids as a heroin substitute has been on the rise for several years. In June, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations determined that counterfeit pain pills that contained Fentanyl were responsible for more than 30 people being hospitalized and as many as four fatalities in central Georgia. The potency of the drugs that first responders are encountering is so great that something as simple as contact with exposed skin can cause severe illness.

The Conyers Police Department began issuing Narcan to officers in 2015 in order to better address opioid overdose concerns. Narcan, or naloxone, can counteract the effect of opioid induced overdose and has been credited for saving lives when administered in a timely manner.

"We want our officers to be prepared to deal with drug overdose situations and part of that preparedness is keeping them safe from exposure." said Police Chief Gene Wilson.

In addition to getting the new personal protection gear, officers have been provided with update procedures to ensure best practices are followed when handling dangerous drugs. The updates in procedure and equipment are part of a national effort to protect Police Officers by the International Association of Chiefs of Police through recommendations made by their Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Committee.

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