A Meriden police officer who was hospitalized after being exposed to illegal drugs while treating an overdose victim on Thursday has been treated and released, police said.
Meriden police said their officer was exposed to an illegal substance while responding to a report of a suspicious man on View Street.
“While investigating those claims, our officers came across what they believed to be a woman who was unconscious and may have succumbed to an overdose of an unknown substance," explained Sgt. Christopher Fry.
While trying to treat the woman, one of the officers was exposed to the substance.
“Within a short amount of time he experienced dizziness, eventually lost consciousness. And thankful to Hunter’s Ambulance who took measures to save his life," Fry said.
According to Fry, the officer simply touched a packet of the substance and fell into an overdose state. Police believe the substance contained fentanyl. The officer had to receive NARCAN.
“If it weren’t the response of Hunter’s Ambulance and the response they took on scene, very likely could have lost our officer today. So we are forever grateful for their actions," Fry said.
The officer, who has not been identified, is recovering.
Fry said while they train for these situations, they always learn from their actions and will use caution moving forward.
“In this case, he did it while saving the life of another. So I’m not too sure there’s anything he really could have done to have foreseen this or prevented it," he said.
Fry said he could not recall another officer suffering an overdose like this, but it shows the challenges officers face on a daily basis.