Nearly 1,800 people have died from heroin overdoses in the St. Louis area since 2007. St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch believes his department can do more to cut the numbers.
Fitch says when overdose calls come in, police arrive first on the scene about 30 percent of the time. That's why he's asking the county health department to write a prescription allowing officers to carry naloxone, also called Narcan. It's a fast-acting antidote for overdoses on opiates, like heroin and morphine. Police in some other U.S. cities are already using it to treat overdose victims before EMTs arrive.
Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that equipping each car with two-doses is affordable, costing the department about $1,500.