How much is a life worth? If your answer is $30,000 or more, then Scottsdale police made a wise investment.
The agency is believed to be the first in the Valley to equip all its officers with Narcan, a drug used in emergency care for opioid overdoses.
On July 7, officer Tyler Parks was dispatched to an overdose call.
“The guy was not breathing, he was unresponsive and his lips were blue,” said Parks.
The man had overdosed on heroin and was close to death. Parks, who had just been trained, pulled out his department-issued Narcan nasal spray and gave the man a dose. Almost immediately his breathing improved but he was still in distress. Parks gave the man a second dose as paramedics arrived.
“Within two minutes, he was responsive and talking,” said Parks.
The decision to outfit all the department’s 180 or so officers with Narcan cost about $30,000.
“If you can save one life, who can put a price tag on that?” said officer Kevin Watts.
The department originally decided to buy Narcan for its officers to keep them safe. The department was responding to so many calls there was a concern that the drugs, specifically those laced with phytanyl, could harm officers.
Police are not saying the Narcan spray saved the person but it certainly appears it did.
“I couldn’t say how many minutes (he had left) but I would say there weren’t very many minutes left for him to have a chance,” said Parks.
The four-year veteran says he’s glad he had the drugs and can’t imagine going on a call without them from now on.