Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Headlines from Across the Nation
To keep up on all that is happening across the country, click on the link below read news articles related to law enforcement/criminal justice. https://www.policeone.com/law-enforcement-news/
New Faces at the Academy
Nathan Bright (Salemburg): Nathan has joined the Academy as an Educational Research Specialist focusing on course evaluations, grant writing, and research. Nathan’s previous experience includes serving as the Resource Development and Construction Vice Presidents for Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity. Nathan’s educational background includes a B.A. in International Affairs from Methodist University in Fayetteville N.C. and a Masters in Public Administration from N.C. State University in Raleigh N.C. Nathan is a licensed 13 state General Contractor who holds certifications in emergency reconstruction. He is also a certified HAM (VHF/UHF) radio operator (KN4OVL) and serves with the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) during emergency situations. Nathan also enjoys touring in his antique vehicles, woodworking, marksmanship, hiking and canoeing. He has a wife named Jessie, one brother and a dog named Carolina.
Andrew “Doc” Nevins (Edneyville): Andrew is the new Administrative Specialist I at the Edneyville campus. He has an extensive background in various administrative roles including technology and support.
Training Catalog for July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
We wanted you to know that our new training dates are now available for July 2018 to June 2019. To view the classes on our website, visit: http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/Courses-Offered-by-NCJA.aspx. Registration for ALL our classes is on our portal: https://ncja-portal.acadisonline.com.
Annual General Instructor Update Training Course
2018 General Instructor Update: Criminal Justice Instructional Leadership –
New (or added) Courses since our Training Catalog with Openings
If you are interested in learning about new courses that have been added or to discover which classes still have openings, please click on the link below:
2018 In-Service Courses Available Online
We have several of the 2018 in-service topics available online and more courses will be added each month. For a complete list of online courses, go to:
https://ncja-portal.acadisonline.com/acadisviewer/login.aspx. To register for a course, go to: NC Justice Academy Training Portal and follow the directions. These 2018 In-service Courses are currently available online:
- 2018 Strategies to Improve Law Enforcement Interactions and Relationships with Minority Youth (LE)
- 2018 Equality in Policing (LE)
- Law Enforcement Intelligence Update (LE)
- Officer Safety: Surviving Planned Attacks Against Law Enforcement Officers (LE)
- Detention Intelligence Update )Det)
- Equality in Detention Practices (Det)
- Equality in Policing (Tele)
- Law Enforcement Intelligence Update (Tele)
This Month’s Featured Article:
“Reviving Those Who Cannot Stop Killing Themselves”
By: Scott Tyson, NCJA East (Salemburg)
News headlines are designed to be sensational. The media has been pounding the drum on the opioid epidemic for the past several years. Truth be told, this issue has been something our first responders have been dealing with for many years prior to the bright light of media attention.
Police officers and other first responders are often the canaries in the coal mine. They see the dangers coming towards society long before those issues are exposed to the general public. Police officers are the ones who enter first into the dark places where those issues first appear. In this case, where the opioid abuse epidemic evolved, lifeless young people often lie dead or dying, waiting to be saved. It has been first responders who have been sent to find them and bring them back from the edge of death with a simple procedure.
“Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.”
In the 80’s crack cocaine hit like a sledgehammer with an unpredicted, unprecedented storm of addiction and drug-related violence and crime. Conversely, the opioid epidemic was a different kind of storm — one that was somewhat predictable. Much like an approaching hurricane in the Atlantic that develops off the coast of West Africa, we had time to watch it build. It was a pharmaceutical storm that could be seen coming and could be tracked based on the statistical records of the pharmaceutical production of opioids and the volume of opioid prescriptions output through our health care system. It was the perfect storm of greed by big pharmaceutical companies, unscrupulous doctors, and the basic business model of supply and demand. The opioid wave made its way from the highest levels of corporate America, circumvented government oversight, dodged whistleblowers, embedded itself into our health care system and was then mainlined into the lives of the American family. The aftermath resulted in the loss of young family members to the very, very quiet death associated with opioid overdoses. First responders often continue to be the first on the scene to try and bring them back.
One Last Hope…again and again:
Let’s take a step back from the bigger picture and look at some ground truth and how this particular drug intersects so uniquely with first responders.
“The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) reports that between Aug. 2013 – Dec 2016, there were 5,456 naloxone reversals reported to them.”
Life and death decisions have always been placed on the shoulders of our police officers who routinely deal with criminal violence, mentally impaired suspects, anti-police rhetoric, and spikes in incidents where police become targets of ambush. Just when you think that nothing more can be asked of our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who protect and serve, we now ask them to administer a life-saving antidote to those who choose a self-inflicted death. Along with the other tools of the trade, such as handcuffs, flashlights, OC spray, Tasers, and firearms, they often carry Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug that immediately counters the effects of opioids and revives the overdose victim. One of the truths about this cycle of abuse is that it is often not just a one-time event for the overdose victims. First responders are routinely treating the same individuals over and over again with Narcan injections. They are saving them repeatedly from themselves.
“Naloxone, sometimes referred to as Narcan, is an antidote for opioid overdose for drugs such as Percocet, OxyContin, and heroin.”
NC Officers report some interesting if not disturbing issues involving subjects that received Narcan:
- Officers search and secure the scene around someone who has overdosed prior to reviving them with Narcan. This is done due to the erratic or aggressive behavior often exhibited upon resuscitation. Officers have described a revived individual as having “superhuman strength.”
- Some recipients of Narcan awaken and complain with: “why did you ruin my high?”
- Users will boast about the number of times that they have been resuscitated. They keep score and wear it as a badge of honor among other users.
- There are reports that users have organized parties where there is a designated person with Narcan that is given the responsibility to resuscitate anyone who overdoses. This designated person has to refrain from use and remain unimpaired so that there is at least one person capable of saving the others at the party in need of an injection.
- Some departments have relied on funding grants to help defer the cost of naloxone.
- Some departments carry Narcan but only for use on their own officers in case they come in contact with fentanyl.
“NCHRC reports that 640 reversals were performed by NC Law Enforcement Agencies between Jan 2015 – Aug 2017.”
As impactful as this has already been on our state, especially in the Wilmington area, there are other implications to come. Legal manufacturing in large part leads to the demand for opioids. New pharmaceutical regulations have been implemented to try and control that aspect of the problem, but the genie is already out of the bottle. Simple supply and demand economics begin to apply. The user population and the market demand has already been established. The reduction and tighter controls on legal supplies will help. But the advent of illicit manufacturing by criminal organizations outside of the licit production by big pharma has begun to fill the void. This brings law enforcement officers deeper into the equation, having to now investigate not only the overdose itself but also the sources of the illicit product. It adds complexity to the investigative side of the problem.
“Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 – 100 times stronger than morphine.”
An even darker side has begun to reveal itself in the use of fentanyl as an adulterate which dealers use to “cut” their product. This part of the supply and demand equation represents a lethal threat to our first responders. Coming into contact with microgram quantities of fentanyl can be deadly. As the law enforcement community adjusts and adapts to the fentanyl threat, an even deadlier threat has now surfaced in the form of carfentanyl which is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. We are talking about a quantity that is just enough powder to cover the ear of Lincoln on the penny. These substances are highly lethal and capable of doing significant damage to drug users and first responders. The issues discussed in this paper represent a few of the things we have learned while tracking the slow evolution of this opioid epidemic. What we have to be concerned about are the things we can’t predict, the unknowns that our first responders may begin to see in the future, things that we didn’t see coming.
Note: If you have any information that you would like to share with NCJA about this LEO issue, please contact us at:
910 525-4151 Ext. 281
Ask for Scott Tyson
Our Job Bank webpage is one of our most viewed pages. To see current job openings, click on this link: http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/Job-Bank.aspx. If your agency has job openings, please complete the “Job Posting Template” and we will be glad to advertise it for you on our website.
Please feel free to call or email me with your suggestions for training. We are here for you! 910-525-4151 x210
Trevor Allen, Director
Interested in Submitting an Article for the Newsletter?
In this edition of the newsletter, we are featuring an article by Casson Reynolds (NCJA-Edneyville) on Crime Scene Investigators. If you are interested in submitting an article for the newsletter, please email Michael Cummings (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeffrey R. Zimmerman (email@example.com). Articles should be no more than 1,000 words.