Quincy Police Department changes drug research policy after fentanyl scare



QUINCY (WFEM) – Police in Quincy have said they are facing a new drug problem in the community.

When Quincy cops like Mike Cirrincione answer a drug call, they never know what might happen.

Recently, a police officer was sent to hospital after accidentally inhaling drugs containing the very dangerous opioid fentanyl during a search for methamphetamines. Now authorities are looking to change their policies to ensure officers are safe when responding to drug-related incidents.

“Fentanyl, for people who don’t know, is 50 times more potent than heroin,” Cirrincione said. “So a very small amount could kill you. “

Deputy Chief Shannon Pilkington said they are looking for devices such as scanners that will allow them to test the product without officers coming into contact with potentially hazardous substances.

“But they cost between $ 20,000 and $ 35,000 right now, so it’s a huge expense. I don’t think the technology is there yet, we’re sort of waiting to see where that goes,” Pilkington said. .

In the meantime, he said they are using a different system that gives crime technicians a safer way to test for drugs.

“There is a vent with a system to clean the air that our crime scene technician can actually test the product in that vent hood. So there is no way of exposure,” Pilkington said. “He takes the fumes and removes the product so we don’t expose them.”

Cirrincione said there are other ways for officers to make a proper arrest without being exposed to illicit drugs.

“Based on my training experience, I can say that people who have wedge bags containing white substance are a common method of packaging and delivering illegal substances such as methamphetamines, either narcotics, or opiates or opioids, ”Cirrincione said.

Officers said they found local teens and young adults mainly use Xanax pills and marijuana. They said it was worth having a chat with your kids.

They said that while they haven’t found fentanyl in marijuana, it’s common for it to be found in a powdered substance like pills.

If your child has prescribed Xanax, the police have said he is fine, but should not be taking pills from friends.


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