~ “When Seconds Count: How Law Enforcement Can Save a Life during an Overdose” will be distributed to all Virginia law enforcement agencies ~
LEESBURG, Va. – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today released “When Seconds Count: How Law Enforcement Can Save a Life during an Overdose,” a new roll call video educating Virginia law enforcement officers on how to recognize and respond to a heroin or opioid overdose. The video, which will be distributed to every Virginia law enforcement agency to share with officers and deputies during their regular shift meetings, will educate officers on the signs of an overdose and what can be done to help save lives.
Attorney General Herring joined Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman, who appears in the film, Leesburg Police Chief Gregory Brown, and Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister this morning for the first showing of the film during a special tri-agency roll call meeting in Leesburg.
“This new roll call video will educate law enforcement on how to immediately recognize the signs of an overdose and quickly provide assistance in a situation where every second counts. For small agencies that serve rural communities, this training will be particularly helpful,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “One of my proudest legislative achievements is the bipartisan bill we passed to expand the use of naloxone because it is truly saving lives across the Commonwealth, and this video will help show even more members of law enforcement how to use naloxone and the other tools and resources at their disposal to save a life. It is our responsibility as a Commonwealth to do everything in our power to get this problem turned around and protect Virginia families from the pain and heartbreak of losing a loved one to an overdose.”
“My officers at the Richmond Police Department have seen a dramatic increase over the past few years in the number of people they encounter suffering from an opioid overdose,” said Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, who is featured in the film. “It’s important for them to be able to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms in those cases so they can quickly call for medical help. Luckily for us, in an urban environment, paramedics are quick to arrive if they are not already on the scene to administer naloxone. I applaud Attorney General Herring for making this training video available to our officers. It’s one more example of how he is working to address the growing epidemic of opioid abuse. With his continued support and leadership, we will be able to turn the tide on the scourge in our community.”
“We understand we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, this is why we have taken a proactive approach with our partners in the community to develop educational and prevention programs to help those addicted to opioids,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “Equipping our deputies with naloxone has helped save lives in Loudoun County, but this is just one part of our efforts to combat this epidemic. We continue to collaborate with our state and local counterparts through street level enforcement to target regional sources, in addition to working with legislators, educators and treatment specialists to help save lives.”
In 2015, the General Assembly passed Attorney General Herring’s bill to expand the use of naloxone to first responders and make the drug available without a prescription. This year, he worked to authorize community nonprofits to provide training and distribution of naloxone. Because of this expanded access, 84 law enforcement agencies across the state have trained officers administering the treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, naloxone successfully reversed more than 10,000 overdoses between 1996 and 2010.
Attorney General Herring has made combating the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic a top priority, attacking the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcement, education, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal efforts to improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources, partnered with U.S. Attorney Dana Boente to create the Hampton Roads Heroin Working Group to develop holistic, community-driven solutions to the heroin and opioid crisis, and made prescription drug disposal kits available across the Commonwealth. During his time in office, Attorney General Herring has worked more than 75 cases against dealers and traffickers involving more than 375 pounds of heroin worth more than $16.9 million on the street.