Oklahoma's Own In Focus: Muskogee Police Protocol For Fentanyl Exposure

Muskogee Police says it's protocol to get checked out by doctors if one of their officers was exposed to fentanyl because it's better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, December 20th 2023, 5:11 pm



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Muskogee Police arrest a couple they say had fentanyl inside their car along with a two-year-old child.

Officers arrested Miguel Torres and Amyllia Wilson.

Police say Torres, Wilson, the two-year-old child, two other people and five officers were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure for fentanyl exposure.

Torres and Wilson were arrested on suspicion of drugs and child endangerment.

The Commission on Peace Officer Standard and Training says fentanyl poses a significant threat to first responders.

Muskogee Police says it's protocol to get checked out by doctors if one of their officers was exposed to fentanyl because it's better to be safe than sorry.

Lynn Hamlin with Muskogee Police says, like every police agency, they are getting more and more calls related to fentanyl.

"What we know from the education on this drug is if you are in a closed-in area with a person who has used fentanyl, it could be on their clothes, in their hair, and that can get transferred to our officers through the air and make them very sick," she said.

Their protocol is for officers to wear gloves and masks if they know they are dealing directly with the drug, and every officer is trained on how to use Narcan, a nose spray that brings people back from an opioid overdose.

"It looks different on every call, so you just have to be very aware of what you are dealing with and take safety measures really on every call anymore because we don't know if it's fentanyl or not fentanyl, and we don't want to wait until it's too late," Hamlin said.

Dr. Ryan Marino is a medical toxicologist and works with a lot of overdose patients.

He says symptoms when a person is exposed to fentanyl are different than what most might expect.

He says you would most likely feel subdued and less anxious, as opposed to jittery and scared.

"I’m not doubting anyone what they’re experiencing, but fentanyl is an old drug. It’s something that’s been used medically and something that’s been studied for decades and decades now, and we have good evidence of how it works," he said.

The DEA says we are seeing a new, synthetic form of fentanyl that's more dangerous than in the past. They say it's 100 times more morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

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