NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–City police officers used a drug called naloxone, better known as "Narcan," to revive a 46-year-old man who appeared to suffer from a heroin overdose in the bathroom of the New Brunswick Free Public Library on January 29.
A police press release, issued five days after the incident, did not specify what time the incident occurred or the names of officers involved.
According to the statement, "officers responded to the New Brunswick Public Library to investigate the report of an unconscious male who had possibly overdosed on drugs."
"Upon the officer’s arrival they found Douglas Tingle (46 year old male from New Brunswick) unresponsive in the bathroom of the library. The officers observed signs which would suggest Mr. Tingle recently introduced an opiate narcotic into his body."
After police administered a dose of the nasal spray to Tingle, he regained consciousness "moments later" but was still taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for further treatment.
"At the hospital Mr. Tingle was conscious, alert and making conversation with the officers," reads the press release, authored by Captain JT Miller, the department's spokesperson.
The incident comes on the heels of several similar situations where, thanks to a new program instituted by the Middlesex County Prosectuor's Office, police in Middlesex County have saved lives with the help of the drug.
Just 14 minutes after the NBPD press release, Piscataway's Police Department used their Nixle alert system to release a statement titled, "Nasal Narcan Saves a Life."
According to the alert, Piscataway officers Marc Portnoy and Jason Merrill helped save the life of an unidentified 31-year-old man, who was found in his home barely breathing.
"The quick thinking of these officers to utilize the Nasal Narcan contributed to saving this person’s life," reads the alert, which said the overdose victim regained consciousness "in minutes."
"This is the first time the department was able to save a life using Narcan," reads the alert. "Piscataway police officers were trained as part of a program instituted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office."
Chief of Police Richard Ivone who strongly supports this new program stated “our police department is always striving to utilize any and all new resources that are available and can contribute to the saving of lives.”
Captain Miller did not respond to a question from New Brunswick Today asking if this was the first time Narcan had been used by the NBPD to successfully save a life.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.