On Monday, the Akron Public School Board voted 5-1 to allow school resource officers to carry Narcan on high school and middle properties in the district.
Narcan, or Naloxone, is the opioid overdose antidote that is applied to an overdose victim by a nasal spray. The resource officers who work on Akron school campuses are employees of the Akron Police Department and have been trained on how to use the drug. Bravo says that after the policy is officially passed, the School Board will decide who else on staff will be trained on how to use naloxone and where it will be stored on school campuses. He's hoping that will be decided by the Fall, and the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo told the Ray Horner Morning Show, "The opioid epidemic is here; and I think you can either choose to arm yourself for a possible emergency at some point, or you can choose not to, and we chose to do something proactive."
As for the cost of the Naloxone program at Akron Public Schools, Bravo says the vendor they are looking at provides the doses free for the high schools for the first year. At $100 per dose, and two doses per resource officer, Bravo says the cost for the remaining middle schools will be around $2,000. He says the board will come up with those funds for the Naloxone doses.
The latest numbers from the Summit County Medical Examiner's office show an average of 9 opioid or opiate overdoses a day in Summit County. "We're here to look out for the safety and security of not only the 21,000 students that enter our buildings every day, but the 4,000 full time and part time staff and all of the adult visitors and children," Bravo added.
The 19-month-old baby boy who accidentally overdosed in his West Hill home in Akron last week has died.
According to police, the boy ingested heroin, fentanyl or another type of opiate after coming in contact with a baggie at the home.
At the time of the overdose, the boy's older sibling, a 9-year-old, dialed 911. He was given a dose of NARCAN at the home, but it had no effect. Afterwords, he was transported to Akron Children's where he was given another dose that revived him. Sunday night, the boy died in the hospital.
The mother of the boy was at the home when police arrived, but left shortly after. Akron Police were trying to find her before she showed up about 3 hours later at Akron Children's. She was arrested on an outstanding felony theft warrant out of Portage County, but hadn't been charged in the overdose of her son. That boy, and the woman's two other children were placed in custody of Summit County Children's Services until further notice. At that time, last week, Lt. Rick Edwards with APD said charges related to this most recent incident were very likely to be filed soon.
An autopsy is pending with the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office.
Akron Police are investigating after a baby boy accidentally overdosed, forcing his older sibling to call 911 and responding paramedics to issue not one, but two doses of NARCAN, the opioid antidote that is administered through a nasal spray.
It happened Thursday evening about 6:30, police say, at a home on Gale Street in Akron. Upon arrival, paramedics found the 19-month-old boy unresponsive. NARCAN was administered at the home, but was ineffective. The boy was then transported to Akron Children's Hospital where a second dose of NARCAN was given to the child. Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards says it's likely the child touched a baggy or some other packaging that was left out that had some opioid residue left on it. A toxicology report is being run to determine what type of opioid the boy was exposed to.
The mother was at home when Akron Police arrived, but she left. It was a few hours before Lt. Edwards with Akron PD says she showed up at Akron Children's Hospital. Police interviewed her and then found that she had a felony warrant out for her arrest out of Portage County on an unrelated theft charge.
As for Thursday's incident, Akron Police have not charged the mother with a crime, though Lt. Edwards says it is likely that she will be charged soon. She's currently in Portage County Jail on the theft charge.
There are steps being taken to address some of the community concerns surrounding the heroin epidemic in Akron. The Akron Police Department has started training officers on using Narcan to help save the lives of those who may have overdosed.
"We want to do everything we can to save lives," said Akron Police Chief James Nice. "So the next step is to put in into the police cruisers. In case the cruiser does get there before EMS, we're given every opportunity to save a life."
Nice said it's not often that police officers arrive on scene of an overdose before EMS, but he still believes it's important to have officers equipped with the drug to offer help.
At this point, Nice said carrying Narcan does not come with a cost for the department. The first shipment of the supply will come from the hospitals and the Summit County Health Department. Nice said grants are expected to help pay for additional supplies when needed.
Nice expects Narcan to be in every police cruiser beginning this Friday.