Breaking News
More () »

Cumberland County Jail staff now carrying Narcan

A growing list of Maine law enforcement agencies carry the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

PORTLAND, Maine — Corrections officers at Cumberland County Jail in Portland are arming themselves with a new tool— the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan. 

"Now, I have the Narcan right here on my belt," Lt. Dan Haskell told NEWS CENTER Maine. "It's immediately available to me."

Before corrections officers started carrying the life-saving drug earlier this year, they had to access it from a locked box.

"If I'm up in one of the areas farthest from the officer's station and I find an issue, I can immediately act on it," Haskell explained. "It can be the difference between life or death." 

Cumberland County Sheriff Keven Joyce said having his staff carrying Narcan will save them a lot of time in an emergency situation. 

"Most of it will benefit the inmate," Sheriff Joyce said. "However, the employee could benefit from it too. One of our biggest concerns is if drugs make it into the jail and it’s in a powder form, for instance, it could impact the employee as well as the inmate."

Last year, an inmate at Cumberland County Jail died of an overdose, according to Joyce. He's trying to prevent this from ever happening again while protecting his officers at the same time. 

"We just think Narcan is important for the inmates and the employee," Joyce added.

Joyce added Narcan has not yet been used since officers started carrying the overdose-reversal drug.

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories 

For the latest breaking news, weather, and traffic alerts, download the NEWS CENTER Maine mobile app.

Before You Leave, Check This Out