EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Vanderburgh County is seeing record numbers of heroin overdose deaths and the numbers continue to rise.
A handful of Evansville police officers have been carrying Narcan, an opioid reversal nasal spray, since 2015.
This week 140 Evansville police officers funneled through two all-day training sessions, in order to carry Narcan.
Through a grant from the Overdose Lifeline organization, the Evansville Police Department secured 300 more Narcan units.
"We had patrol officers, detectives, and some of our investigative units in these training sessions," explained Evansville police Captain Andy Chandler.
"This increases the amount of officers carrying Narcan, and the amount of officers who properly know how to administer it."
Steve Lockyear, who was elected to the Vanderburgh County Coroner position Tuesday evening, says there's already been 22 heroin overdose deaths in Vanderburgh County in 2016.
With 140 more officers outfitted with Narcan, the Evansville Police Department has more coverage to handle drug overdose calls, no matter what.
"We want to leave the majority of the medical training to paramedics, but sometimes our officers arrive on scene and we need to take action," says Chandler.
In March of 2015, Evansville police Chief Billy Bolin said officers didn't need to carry Narcan.
Not only was cost a factor, but training the officers to administer a potent medical antidote, played into the decision, as well.
The Evansville Police Department started a pilot program to test out Narcan in late 2015.
"There were some concerns about the training and administering the Narcan, but obviously there's been some success stories. In Evansville and surrounding counties, we've seen Narcan successfully bring individuals out of the effects of a heroin overdose."