Bartlesville Officers Recovering After Exposure To Fentanyl

Sunday, March 8th 2020, 7:16 pm

Surveillance video showed a Bartlesville police officer collapse after being exposed to methamphetamine laced with fentanyl.

Sergeant Dan Elkins said his officers are exposed to drugs every day, but Friday's encounter after a traffic stop was different.

"This is the first exposure where an officer is directly affected to fentanyl and he was exposed at a very lethal level," Elkins said. 

Elkins said the first officer felt the effects while processing drugs from a traffic stop.

The officer wore gloves and protective gear.

"In the video, you can actually see his forearms are in contact with the table as he does his paperwork and we believe, at that time, he was exposed,” Elkins said. “That's because the drug is very permeable and can be soaked in through the skin.”

Elkins said the Bartlesville Police Department adopted a program two years ago that afforded every officer to have Narcan spray on hand in case of emergencies.

The officers where were present when the officer collapsed were able to give him Narcan right away, which doctors said saved his life. 

"So we had an officer give Narcan to another officer, which is very scary and something that we never think we would do when we come into work," Elkins said.  

Later Friday night, a second officer had similar symptoms. He was monitored at the hospital.

Both officers are expected to be OK. 

Police said Calvin Caldwell and Rafael Almendarez are in jail and are suspected of having several drugs in the car during the traffic stop.

Sergeant Elkins said both officers plan to be back at work this week.

The department will speak to the district attorney about pressing more charges. 

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