Racine Co. sheriff wants heroin antidote in squad cars

CREATED Feb. 24, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb. 24, 2014

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RACINE - Sgt. David Coughlin believes there may be people alive today if he had been equipped with a drug that can reverse the life-threatening effects of heroin.

"Narcan still would have helped them," Coughlin told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  "We would have saved somebody's life with it."
 
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling wants every deputy to carry Narcan on patrol.  The drug is easily administered from a syringe as a nasal spray.
 
"In Racine County, we had nearly a dozen heroin overdoses just last year," Schmaling said.  "These are heroin overdoses that resulted in death."
 
A law with widespread political support is advancing through state government that would allow officers to give a dose of Narcan. 
 
"We find ourselves in these rural areas we patrol to be the first emergency providers on scene," Schmaling said.  "Typically, we are waiting several minutes for our volunteer paramedics."
 
Sheriff's deputies already carry defibrillators for people suffering heart emergencies.
 
Schmaling believes he can implement this program for less than a thousand dollars.  He says he would use money seized in a drug arrests to pay for Narcan and the necessary supplies.