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Sarasota Sheriff's Office First Law Enforcement Agency In Florida To Give Deputies Naloxone

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Topher Forhecz/WGCU
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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday it will equip its deputies with a drug called naloxone. It stops people from overdosing on opioids like heroin.

It’s a first for Florida law enforcement agencies.

The naloxone auto-injector is like an epi-pen. Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said he plans to have them in all patrol deputies’ cruisers by November.

Sarasota and surrounding counties have seen a dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths since 2014.

Knight said from July to September Sarasota, sheriff’s deputies responded to 55 opioid overdose calls that resulted in five deaths.

“Most of the time EMS will beat us there, but it only takes one time to have it and use it and save somebody’s life and we know we did the right thing by training 400-and-some people to use them," he said.

The company kaléo donated 800 doses worth of naloxone to the sheriff’s office.

Knight said he hopes the department won’t run out of the drug. If it does, he said he’ll look at options like working naloxone into their budget or applying for grants.