Lock up opioid addicts, police union leader urges after another - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Lock up opioid addicts, police union leader urges after another officer exposed

File photo (Source: Pixabay) File photo (Source: Pixabay)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Another Cincinnati police officer was hospitalized after exposure to a possible opioid Monday, the sixth local law enforcement officer to become sickened after coming in contact with a powdery substance in the past two months.

Last month alone, three other Cincinnati police officers were hospitalized, and two Hamilton County probation officers also fell ill after coming into contact with a potent opiate drug.

Now, the police union president is calling for more jail space for addicts.

As the opioid epidemic worsens, he said it's time to start doing something now.

"We need a place to lock some folks up," Sgt. Dan Hills told reporters gathered outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"It's not because we want to hurt them. Many of them are addicts, many of them are affected by this disease, " he said.

"But they're hurting themselves and they have a high potential of hurting others."

Hils said Monday's incident was the worst case of exposure he has seen in recent months.

The officer, he said, "was a little sicker than the other ones. This officer continued to feel confused and he was also really nauseous."

It's unclear whether the opioid was synthetic or non-synthetic (opioids include drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, and the illegal drug heroin).

Meanwhile, the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is considering recommending a state law change that would give first responders the power to force addicts into treatment.

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan recently told FOX19 NOW the coalition is in the beginning stages of information gathering as they consider revamping Casey's Law that parents and other loved ones of drug addicts and alcoholics can use to ask a judge to order addiction treatment.

They also are running a pilot project that will give them an idea how many people could be eligible and are still gathering data.

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Officials: 2 probation officers sickened by fentanyl exposure

2 Cincinnati cops exposed to 'unknown substance' during traffic stops

Police: Video shows boy watch mother shoot heroin

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