NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – All Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officers will soon be equipped with heroin antidote kits in an effort to cut down on fatal overdoses.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, it’s expected the more than 650 MTA officers on the job across 5,000 square miles and 14 counties in New York and Connecticut will carry the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan.

The officers patrol the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and the Staten Island Railway and will all be trained to use the nasal spray antidote.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Community Overdose Prevention (COP) Program will fund at least 670 naloxone kits for MTA police.

“Staten Island, Manhattan, Westchester and Rockland counties are among the top 10 counties in New York State for the number of opioid-related hospitalizations per 1,000 people,” said Schneiderman. “Whatever efforts they had to deny it, that falls away and we have a great opportunity to get people in treatment and out of this cycle.”

“As I think New York struggles with the historical crisis, obviously treatment is one of the key answers. But in the meantime, we’re losing hundreds of young people to fatal overdoses,” Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence told Murnane. “I work with a number of young people who have been revived with Narcan, gotten a second shot at recovery and they’re now leading healthy and productive lives.”

The proceeds of criminal and civil forfeiture cases will provide $40,000 in funding for the kits, according to the AG’s office.

Schneiderman said more than 100 police agencies across New York State have signed on to the COP program since it launched in April.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories