Woodbury Officers Carrying Narcan to Protect Police Dogs

August 04, 2018 05:34 PM

Opioid overdose treatments like naloxone -- or Narcan -- have become an essential tool for emergency responders across the country.

The goal is to reverse the effects of overdoses fast. And it's not just humans that are in danger.


Sometimes those at the highest risk of encountering drugs on the job are known to many as man's best friend.

RELATED: Some Minneapolis Police Officers Begin Carrying NARCAN

Woodbury police K-9 Baden is training to hunt for drugs.

Sgt. Jason Posel and Baden have been partners for five years.

"Phenomenal resource for the community," said Posel. "Developed a tight relationship with our K-9 partners."

The 6-year-old German Sheppard is one of four police dogs on the force.

RELATED: Surgeon General Urges Americans to Carry Overdose Antidote

They are used for locating missing people and suspects, but mostly for sniffing out drugs.

"They are a fantastic tool here that we have," said Posel.

Baden, like the department's other K-9s, may encounter opioids, like heroin or carfentanil, which can be lethal.

"The primary reason we have the dogs is for their noses," said Posel. "It's many times stronger than ours and can smell things quick frankly we can't."

RELATED: West St. Paul Police Mourn Death of Former Narcotics K-9

To protect his partner, Posel carries Narcan.

"It's a fantastic resource to have," said Posel.

This is the first year the department has ever had the treatment on hand. The nearly $100 medication was given to the police department by the group Woodbury Police K-9 Funds.

Each police dog will have their own dosage.

RELATED: Significant Changes Being Made to K-9 Unit in St. Paul

"It's fantastic ... the fundraising group is really a manifestation of the community's support," said Posel.

If Baden or any other police K-9 does not respond to commands or stares into space after coming across an opioid, the Narcan is used.

"At that point we would be working to get them down to the emergency vet clinic for some additional care," said Posel.

Narcan is something Posel said the department hasn't had to use yet on a K-9, but officers are ready, if needed.

"These are our partners," said Posel. "They are more than just a tool here at the police department."

Health experts said Narcan is relatively harmless. So, it's best to use it if you fear someone may be overdosing.


Jonathan Rozelle

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