Op-ed: Sheriff Jones isn't the only one who doesn't carry Narcan

'There is crazy frustration from everyone'
Op-ed: Sheriff Jones isn't the only one who doesn't carry Narcan
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 08:00:53-04

Rodney Muterspaw is the police chief of Middletown, Ohio.

Recently, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones commented that his agency would not be using Narcan in their cruisers. This made international news.

READ: Sheriff Jones: My deputies are not using Narcan

This is not a shock to most city agencies, because we don't carry it either.

As a matter of fact, I don't think many police agencies in Butler County carry it at all unless they are medics or fire personnel.

Chief Muterspaw

I think people misconstrued that comment by taking it and saying that police officer's don't care about lives. That is utterly absurd and ridiculous. That is the sheriff's decision, and he is doing what is best for his department and his county.

National media has run with it, but what they fail to see is most police agencies do not carry it. It's only news because the sheriff spoke out on it.

Butler County does a great job, and that's their call. The sheriff and I talk a lot, and I know he is all about making his community safer, just like we are.

Police doing more with less

Police agencies are asked every day to do more and more with less and less. Right now, enforcing the law may be about 50 percent of what we do.

We have become social workers, counselors, errand boys, animal wardens, etc. We are asked to stop and solve crime, yet we are also asked to handle dog and cat complaints, get raccoons or possums out of yards, scold a caller's 5-year-old kid because they won't get out of bed, help schools with unruly kids, tow junk vehicles out of yards and respond to standby while a boyfriend and girlfriend return property since they broke up. This list can go on longer than you can imagine.

We're fine with that -- that's the new police way. But adding medicine dispenser is something most don't do. We don't carry EpiPens or defibrillators in the cruisers either.

The problem is it takes us away from seriously fighting what I call real crime, and that is the burden of all this mess. That's what the medics are tasked with.

We deal with people who overdose; we deal with people who have heart trouble; we deal with people who have diabetic seizures; we deal with people who seriously injured themselves at their home or business. We do not carry medicine for all of those issues.

The mental and emotional drain

That doesn't mean we want people to die; that simply means we already have a system in place for that, and that would be our fire department and medics.

Our medics and fire personnel here in Middletown deserve mad respect from all of us for the work that they do. We see the mental and emotional drain on them every day, as well as on our officers dealing with this mess.

Some people insinuate or claim that they don't care. That is a slap in the face to the people who will save your life or put theirs in front of yours. We will continue to go to these calls and save lives the best we can. Nothing has changed in Middletown regarding that.

But I can tell you there is nothing more frustrating than looking at the call screen and seeing a serious crime in progress or a felony situation and three or four officers are tied up on overdose runs.

'Crazy frustration'

I have seen with my own eyes, this week, someone very close to me lying on the ground with a massive injury waiting for a squad to come. The squad was on overdose calls and it took them a long time to come because of this. The medics were highly upset.

There is crazy frustration from everyone about this mess, so don't be so quick to jump to conclusions when someone speaks out against it.

Hope this helps explain it a little better from the police end.

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