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Marion Police Department receives Narcan donation

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MARION (WSIL) -- In response to the opioid epidemic, police officers are now required to carry Naloxone, an antidote against drug overdoses.

Friday a new supply was donated to the Marion Police Department.

Budgeting for Naloxone can cause financial difficulties for many police departments, including Marion.

"You never really know when you're going to run out. So for the fact that we're almost out and they've stepped up without us asking, made this donation to us and it will save--I don't know, I think we're getting like 75 doses, so it very possibly could save 75 lives," said Marion Police Chief David Fitts.

In July 2018, The Heartland Regional Medical Center auxiliary purchased the department's initial supply. The auxiliary says Friday was a celebration of their relationship with local law enforcement.

"I do the training also for the police department. I go to their facility and I train the officers on the Naloxone and try to keep them up to date on that kind of stuff," said Heartland's EMS Coordinator J.J. King.

Mayor Mike Absher also shared words of appreciation, saying this is one of many ways to fight opioid abuse in Marion.

"We have so much work to do. Every community has so much work to do to try to attack the opioids at their source before they get to that point. However, this piece of it is so critical because it's literally life or death," he said.

Police Chief David Fitts says without this crucial medication, lives are at stake.

"To know that if we're the first one on the scene and we come on to somebody that is in this kind of distress or having this problem, we have the tools with us to help them deal with it and hopefully save their life or at least sustain them until the EMTs and paramedics can get on scene," he said.

Chief Fitts said last week, an officer administered Narcan for an overdose and saved a life.

Maya Skinner

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