Scores of Fort Collins police officers in recent weeks have been armed with overdose-reversing naloxone, a move coinciding with national law enforcement efforts to ease a surge of opioid-involved deaths.

Patrol officers, detectives and lab technicians — 154 police personnel — have been trained since mid-June to carry and use the drug better known by its trade name, Narcan. When training concludes this month, approximately 200 police personnel will have access to naloxone, said Officer Al Brown, medical skills team coordinator with Fort Collins police.

“Given the increase in the opiate-related deaths, we want to be able to provide our officers with another tool to help save lives as well as the ability to help protect themselves if they find themselves in an environment that might pose a danger,” Brown said.

By adding the drug to its tool belt, Fort Collins falls in line with deputies from sheriff's offices in Weld and Larimer counties as well as Loveland police and approximately half of all law enforcement agencies in Colorado that have at least some officers trained and equipped with the life-saving treatment.

Fort Collins police in March said it was exploring what it would take to bring Narcan to the city. Since then, program organizers have been ironing out protocols and securing proper training to administer the medicine.

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