The AtlantiCare Foundation has donated $10,000 to help the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s directive to equip officers in the county with naloxone, officials said.
Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner told The Press of Atlantic City in June the office would issue a mandate calling for all patrol officers in law-enforcement agencies in the county to carry naloxone, the opioid antidote sometimes branded as Narcan.
In a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office Tuesday, Tyner an-nounced the donation from AtlantiCare will cover the cost to replenish the drug after it’s used.
There are 20 municipal and county law-enforcement agencies in the county, and officers in Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Ventnor, Galloway Township, Linwood, Hammonton and Stockton University already carry the antidote, the release said.
The initial supply of naloxone will be paid for with forfeiture funding, Prosecutor’s Chief of Detectives Daren Dooley said in a statement.
There should be enough naloxone within the next month to equip all patrol officers in law-enforcement agencies, the release said.
“We are in the middle of a public-health crisis as it pertains to opioid addiction and drug-related deaths. I have stated repeatedly that we cannot arrest our way out of this situation,” Tyner said in a statement.
Tyner has said he is working toward lowering the number of naloxone administrations, but this directive is to make sure every municipality is prepared if needed.
“The important part now is trying to save some lives and give people an opportunity to get the appropriate treatment,” the statement said.
Tyner also has said the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit responds to every suspected drug-related death in the county.
In 2016, the office responded to 160 such deaths.