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Santa Rosa Police Department
Thursday August 27th, 2020 :: 06:56 p.m. PDT

Community

Officer Exposed to Fentanyl & Transported to Local Hospital

Recently, a veteran Santa Rosa police officer was conducting a security check of an area affected by numerous quality of life concerns including drug use and environmental crimes. When the officer approached a couple of subjects, he quickly realized one person was smoking what he believed to be Fentanyl.  The subjects were compliant and surrendered the narcotics to the officer.  The officer properly secured the narcotics before transporting them.  When the officer got back into his vehicle, he began to experience the effects of a Fentanyl exposure and administered one dose of Narcan on himself and requested medical assistance.  The officer was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for the exposure and later released.  It is unclear if the officer was exposed through inhalation or transdermal.
 
The incident highlights some of the dangers that officers face during everyday contacts with the community.  Officers are frequently dispatched with medical teams to Fentanyl overdoses and exposures.  Throughout an officer’s weekly shifts, they contact a variety of people who are in possession of Fentanyl or other narcotics mixed with Fentanyl, recently consumed Fentanyl, or are actively using Fentanyl.  The Santa Rosa Police Department Narcotics Unit recently shared information about seizures of large quantities of Fentanyl and provided the dangers this specific drug has on our community and SRPD officers.
 
Fentanyl is “a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent” (source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/fentanyl). Fentanyl is ingested on its own or “cut”/mixed with other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.  The CDC noted, “In 2018, more than 31,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids (other than methadone) occurred in the United States, which is more deaths than from any other type of opioid. Synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10% from 2017 to 2018 and accounted for 67% of opioid-involved deaths in 2018” (source: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/fentanyl.html).
 
Officers and Detectives with the Petaluma Police Department and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office that have also been exposed in the past. Fortunately, the SRPD officer recently exposed to Fentanyl recovered and is back on patrol.
SRPD Officers and Detectives are actively working to seize and remove Fentanyl from our community and hold dealers accountable. Officers are equipped with Naloxone (“Narcan”), which counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose, to help save lives of community members, their peers, and themselves.
The Santa Rosa Police Department is committed to serving and protecting the community.  Through outreach, enforcement and partnering with community stakeholders, our goal is to get dangerous narcotics off the streets.  We provide resources to people struggling with addiction or people in their support network who are helping break the cycle.  Just like community members, SRPD officers are not immune from accidental exposures and we encourage anyone who encounters suspected narcotics to use proper personal protective gear and contact their local police agency.
 
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Behavioral-Health/Alcohol-and-Drug-Use-Treatment/ for more information.

For media inquiries, contact Sergeant Christopher Mahurin at 707-543-4012 or [email protected]

Address/Location
Santa Rosa Police Department
965 Sonoma Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-543-3600

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