COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Another law enforcement agency in the Pine Belt will soon be carrying Narcan on patrols.
The Columbia Police Department received a shipment of the overdose reversal spray through state funding. All officers are expected to be trained on how to administer the nasal spray in the next week.
"We're out here to protect and serve," said Lt. Jonathan Harrison. "It can be an adult, it can be a child. We definitely want to assist, to do what we can do to save lives, that's what we get paid to do."
Last year, there were over 250 overdose deaths in the state of Mississippi. With the number of overdose deaths from opioids increasing each year, more and more law enforcement agencies are carrying Narcan.
"We have a problem with opioids and other drugs, it's always been steady and we're trying to fight it," Harrison said.
Narcan can be expensive, quoted around $150 per dosage unit. Harrison said the department would not have been able to supply the spray without 'Stand Up, Mississippi,' a campaign spearheaded by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
"Small departments like this, obviously you have budgets and certain priorities," said Harrison. "I think our drug problem, not that it's really bad, but everywhere you have drugs. I think it's great that they gave us that tool."
Harrison said all twelve patrol officers will be trained and will carry the nasal spray in their vehicles.