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Donation expected to help Artesia police program

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The Artesia Public Safety Complex will house storage lockers for Narcan which will be used to treat opioid addicts. Artesia Police spokesman commander Lindell Smith says a donation by Concho Oil and Gas will provide the storage space. (Mike Smith Photo)

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ARTESIA — A recent donation by Concho Oil and Gas is expected to be a boost to the Artesia Police Department.

APD spokesperson commander Lindell Smith says the $1,000 donation is expected to help move APD’s opioid antagonist program along.

“We want to be ready and we want to be to able to do what we’re sworn to do and to protect and serve our citizens,” he said.

Smith said APD received a state grant for Narcan, which is used to treat opioid addiction.

“We needed to have some storage solutions for that,” he said. “Because of the hot weather here and it is a scheduled medication, so it has to be under lock and key.”

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Smith added the donation from Concho will be used for storage and security purposes for APD.

“That’s gonna help us out a lot,” Smith said.

Smith said the storage solution will help keep the medicine at the proper temperature and it will be readily available if it is needed.

“We have to do that or the medication is just worthless if it’s in a hot car,” he said.

Smith said the storage locker will be located at APD’s headquarters at 3300 W. Main. St.

Smith was asked if Artesia mirrors the nation when it comes to the opioid problem.

“We have not had any specific incidents that APD has been called to as far as opioid overdoses accidental or on purpose, illicit drug types that we can recall, but it’s a national trend and I think we would be kind of aloof to say that it’s not gonna happen here at one point or another,” he said.

Smith added, “to put it in the category that it’s probably coming…probably sooner rather than later, it’s better that we be prepared for it.”

“We’re not only talking about illicit drug users, we’re also talking about children that might get into medications,” Smith said. “Or we’re talking about police officers that search cars and find different substances and are overcome by them.”

Smith said that antagonist Narcan can be used on anybody, “if we see or know the signs of an overdose and it’s indicated, we give the Narcan. It doesn’t hurt if we give it, say for a few quirky side effects, but if we don’t give it, the person is not going to be breathing and that’s obviously an issue.”

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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