DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office Closes After Fentanyl Exposure Hospitalizes Employees
DeSOTO PARISH, La. (KPEL News) - The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office was closed Monday after exposure to fentanyl hospitalized three employees and forced a hazmat crew to come in.
According to KSLA in Shreveport, the employee who was originally exposed "administered Narcan to himself after noticing he was having some sort of adverse reaction while processing evidence." That employee believes the Narcan saved his life.
Two other employees, who helped the original employee, were hospitalized but released quickly. The building was evacuated as a precaution and a state police hazmat team arrived at the scene.
“Every deputy has multiple doses of Narcan; we’ve utilized those with calls that we’ve gone to with individuals that were overdosed,” Sheriff Jayson Richardson said at a press conference Monday. “But we also have it for this purpose, to be able to administer it to ourselves, and so we make it readily available.”
The sheriff's office called in the Louisiana State Police hazmat team to help clear the office.
“The purpose of this entry is to identify and collect information on the unknown substance," Louisiana State Police Trooper LeAnn Hodges said at the conference. "That way, that information can be coordinated back to the local hospitals where these deputies are housed at, and to assist in the treatment of those deputies.”
Fentanyl has been a growing problem across the state and the country.
The country's fentanyl crisis is now in what's being called a "fourth wave," this one driven by fentanyl-laced stimulants like cocaine and meth, according to multiple news reports.
It is creating a larger problem for law enforcement, and incidents like the one in DeSoto Parish may become more common as a result. Several stories in recent years have described officers being exposed and becoming sick (or worse). Other stories have noted an increase in overdoses and drug busts.
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