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By: Erin Smith

Bladenboro PoliceThe Bladenboro Police Department will be getting a new tool to help them in their efforts to better serve the citizens of Bladenboro. The Bladenboro Town Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve a new “standard operating procedure” for the police department involving the use of Naloxone also known as Narcan.

Naloxone (Narcan) is used to reverse or block the side effects of opioid medication and narcotics overdoses in emergency situations, according to Web MD.

Several area agencies already employ the use of Naloxone including the City of Wilmington Police Department, Carolina Beach Police Department, Fayetteville Police Department, Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, Kure Beach Police Department, Leland Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigation, UNCW Police Department, Boiling Springs Lake Police Department and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.  Several of these agencies have already rescued several individuals using the kits, according to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.

Bladenboro Town Administrator John O’Daniel told the board on Monday that Town Attorney Alan Maynard had reviewed the policy and added some additional language that reflects the current General Statutes.

Councilman Billy Ray Benson asked Maynard what the town’s liability would be if they implemented the policy. Maynard said while it is a good idea to talk with the town’s insurance company regarding liability, he also said, “I don’t think there is a lot of dispute about the science of this drug.”

After further discussion, Police Chief Chris Hunt told the board that he had gotten an email regarding Naloxone and he had made contact with the sender of the email.  He told the board that according to research he has performed, he learned that about 25,000 lives have been saved since the inception of the program.

“I feel that as Chief of Police it is my job and the job of the officers to protect the lives of the citizens. I see it (Naloxone) as a tool,” said Hunt.

He added that when the officers encounter a person who has overdosed, that person has a family somewhere and the Naloxone can potentially prevent a family from going through the heartache of having to bury their family member.

Hunt said the kit will actually walk the officer through what to do to administer it. He added that the officers will be trained on how to use the kits.

In a related matter, the board approved a new policy for the police department with regards to body cameras. O’Daniel told the board that the body cameras have arrived and the policy is needed so the department can move forward with training and implementation.