By: STEPHANIE SHARP (KARK Ch.4 News)
MAYFLOWER, Ark. - The opioid crisis is a growing issues across the country and right here in Arkansas.
More and more law enforcement agencies are now carrying Narcan.
It blocks the effect of the drug when someone overdoses. However, getting Narcan can be expensive, especially for small departments.
The Mayflower Police Department is the recipient of the December Difference Maker Award. This will allow them to carry the life saving tool.
Mayflower Police Lieutenant Wesley Tyra patrols the streets of the community.
Lt. Wesley Tyra says they may not be big in size, but they stay very busy.
"We're a small community, small department and we have limited resources," Lt. Wesley Tyra said.
Because of those limited resources, they haven't been able to get the tool Narcan. Narcan is a drug that is known to stop the effects of an overdose, and they have a big need for it.
"As we all know, the opioid crisis is a big problem in Arkansas and across the country and it's continuing to grow," says Chief Robert Alcon.
Because of how the department protect the Mayflower Community, they've been chosen to receive the Difference Maker Award.
"We want to give you a $1,000 check from Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton for the purpose of buying Narcan units for all of your officers at the Mayflower Police Department," says Mike Rainwater.
"We'll be able to use this on a regular basis, probably," says Lt. Wesley Tyra.
The Arkansas Drug Director says opioid use is a major issue in the state and it will take multiple players to provide it to all agencies.
"From private sector, to foundation, to federal grants to get a majority of first responders on board with carrying Naloxone," says Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane.
"We can get our officers protected so they can go in and use those Narcan units to save the lives of our neighbors," says Mike Rainwater.
This is just one department now equipped with a tool. It may be small like the department, but it will make a big impact.
This can also help officers that come in contact with the dangerous drug.
If you would like to help provide Narcan to a law enforcement agency in Arkansas, contact Kirk Lane, the Arkansas Drug Director.