MONROEVILLE (KDKA) -- Their job is protect and serve, and often times, arrest drug dealers and their customers.
But now, more and more police are being asked to carry Narcan, a life-saving drug that can reverse a deadly overdose.
"We're asking police to do something they've never done before, and that is apply a medication to an overdose victim," says Jason Snyder, of the Pa. Drug and Alcohol Department.
Monroeville is one of the first police departments in our region to train and equip its officers with Narcan.
Police Chief Doug Cole has put a kit in every patrol car, believing that every drug addict deserve a second chance.
"Is this a kid that's just experimenting with this stuff or got hooked on it because he was on pain meds, and now he's rolled himself into this, and this is going to be the catalyst to change his life, and he's going to have that opportunity," Chief Cole says.
But Monroeville is in the minority, being only one of only 13 police departments in Allegheny County to carry Narcan.
"We'd like to see every police department in Allegheny County carry Naloxone, especially when you look at the number of overdoes death numbers in Allegheny County, the second highest in the state," said Snyder.
There were 307 overdose deaths in Allegheny County last year.
The state department of drug and alcohol programs believes that many of those people could have been saved if responding police had Narcan, which it is has been providing to departments across the state free of charge.
"We are trying to support the police departments to make it easy as we can to apply this lifesaving medication," Snyder said.
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