COLUMBUS (WCMH) – An East Liverpool police officer who accidentally overdosed on fentanyl after responding to a drug-related call shared his experience with the Columbus Division of Police on Thursday.
Chris Green came to Columbus to film a training video for Columbus officers. He said he hopes to share his experience to save lives.
“I was notified I had something on my shirt,” Green said. “I reach around and grab it to pull my shirt to the front to see what it is and by that time, my finger’s already in it and instinctively, I kind of just brush it off a couple times with my fingers.”
That’s all it took for him to accidentally overdose on trace amounts of fentanyl.
“Within minutes, I go down,” Green said.
He had just returned to the police station after the arrest of two men, who tried to destroy the white powdery substance inside their vehicle.
“They’re using their feet to grind it into the carpet to try to get rid of all this powder,” Green said.
He’s not sure how the fentanyl got on his shirt. After he passed out, he woke up at the hospital.
“They explained to me that I overdosed, which was a shock to me.”
Columbus Officer Todd Waugh said his police department encounters fentanyl almost on a daily basis. He said all CPD officers will be required to watch the training video filmed with Green on Thursday.
“Hearing from a fellow officer talking about their experience, I think it makes it more real,” Waugh said. “It drives the danger home.”
Green talked about protocols already in place, where police protect themselves with gloves and masks when handling evidence. He said from now on, they don’t search vehicles alone.
“Check each other over. It sounds really minor, it should be common sense but we never used to do that kind of thing.”
Green said the two men they arrested were initially charged with a felony for tampering with evidence. Now after he accidentally overdosed, they will also be charged with felonious assault.