Orlando police change drug-handling policy after detective became ill

Detective may have been exposed to opioids at scene

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Police Chief John Mina enforced new protocol this week for officers responding to possible fentanyl-related drug cases after a detective became ill at the scene of a recent drug overdose.

Officers responded to a drug overdose death Saturday at Governor's Manor Apartments where the possible opioid exposure happened, an OPD spokesperson said. A homicide detective on scene started to feel ill. The detective and two other officers were taken to the hospital as a precaution, an OPD spokesperson said.

"When the detective was there, he had trouble breathing, we believe because of the drugs that were in the room," Mina said.

The drugs at the scene later tested positive for fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

OPD posted two videos of Mina discussing the possible exposure Wednesday.

“When our detective was there, he was overcome and had trouble breathing and we believe because of the drugs that were in the room,” Mina said.

After the incident, Mina sent out a directive Tuesday regarding officer responses to unknown narcotics. The new procedures require anyone responding to a similar scene to wear a mask to cover the nose and mouth, with booties on their shoes and to double up on gloves.

In May, a similar directive was issued instructing officers not to do any field drugs tests. Officers can bag suspicious materials and send them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for lab tests.

Mina said all officers will now carry kits will all of the items to respond to possible opioid-related cases, to hopefully avoid feeling the effects of the drugs in the area.

There have been several nationwide incidents in which officers have overdosed after contact with suspected heroin containing fentanyl.


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