Hanford Police are now being equipped with medication needed to keep them safe from contact with fentanyl

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Fentanyl is posing a greater threat to police officers in recent years. (KFSN)

Four Sheriff's Deputies from Kings County were hospitalized last weekend after being exposed to the opioid pain reliever Fentanyl during a routine traffic stop. The deputies became ill shortly after searching the car and had to be transported to the hospital for treatment.

Hanford Police Sgt. Stephanie Huddleston said, "It could be very dangerous medically-- it could be a medical emergency, including death."

Fentanyl is posing a greater threat to police officers in recent years. Authorities said the number of people abusing the highly toxic drug is growing, increasing their chances of coming into contact with it while responding to calls.

Police said because the drug is absorbed into the skin, it could easily lead to an accidental overdose

"Today, what we're seeing is people are mixing it with methamphetamine or heroin, they're mixing the drugs, so if we come in contact with a narcotic seizure the possibility of being exposed to the Fentanyl is there," Huddleston said.

The Hanford Police Department is just one police department to see an increase in Fentanyl abuse. So now, all of their officers have been handed the medication needed to counteract the drug that could turn deadly, and are required to carry it at all times. It is a nasal spray called Naloxone, or better known as Narcan.

Each bottle is enough for just one use, and police said one spray is enough to reverse dangerous side effects and save the life of a police officer, or anyone who may have overdosed.

"The good thing for us is that there's no negative side effects of administering it, so if we believe someone's overdosing and we administer it and that wasn't the case and it was some kind of other medical issue there's no negative effect of giving them the Naloxone," said Huddleston.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, Fentanyl is commonly used to treat advanced cancer pain and is 50 to 100 times more potent than Morphine.

"It's nice to know we have one more tool to keep us safe if needed," said Huddleston.
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