All Brown Deer police officers now carry Narcan

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 13:50:56-04
BROWN DEER, Wis. -- As drug overdoses continue to claim lives in Milwaukee County, all officers with the Brown Deer Police Department now carry Narcan with them, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose. 
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner recently reported 12 deaths in a 72-hour period in the county. According to recent numbers, 343 people died last year in the county in drug related deaths. 
The idea to equip officers with Narcan is as much about saving lives in the community as it is about protecting the officers at Brown Deer Police.
Sgt. Amy Koeppel has worked at Brown Deer Police for 17 years and says overdose calls were never this common when she first started as a patrol officer. 
"I don't recall this in my past experience the frequency that we're having," she said. 
While updating the department's first aid kits, Koeppel says she was recommended by the North Shore Fire Department to include Narcan. 
All of the officers went through training this spring and by the end of May, began carrying Narcan with them to calls. 
"We can't go to every call wearing a hazmat suit and a self contained breathing apparatus and things like that," said Koeppel. "We have no idea what we're going to encounter on a normal retail theft or a normal traffic stop."
An officer in Ohio last month accidentally overdosed on Fetanyl after an arrest. The officer brushed a white substance off his uniform and passed out an hour later. 
According to the DEA, Fetanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and can enter the body through the skin. A small amount can be deadly. 
Brown Deer Officers now have Narcan readily available to not only save fellow officers but anyone they encounter in the field. 
"It's indicative of some of the things that we're facing in law enforcement now," said Koeppel. "There's children sometimes getting their hands on illegal items whether it's illegal drugs or medication that they shouldn't be."
Koeppel says other local agencies have approached her wanting to put their officers through the same training. She says both North Shore Fire and Milwaukee County made it very easy for them to make this happen.