NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The drug crisis has been scary at times in the Mahoning Valley, and those on the front lines are at the greatest risk.
An East Liverpool officer brushed up against dangerous drugs and needed to be revived. It’s a case that’s garnered a lot of attention, locally and nationally.
Now, officers in Niles have some equipment to help them handle similar situations. Opiate protection kits are in now every cruiser. The kits include gloves, masks and eye shields.
Captain John Marshall said it’s good to have the equipment nearby.
“We may get to a scene and see things that cause us some alarm and require some additional personal protective equipment,” Marshall said. “It’s nice that somebody’s taken the time to send all those things to us and help us deal with the problem we’re facing.”
Two hundred kits were put together by residents of Shepherd of the Valley. The $250 in supplies to assemble the kits came from the Shepherd’s Foundation.
Laura Clark and Betty Allen were two of the residents who prepared the kits.
“You do get into it pretty heavy sometimes. At least these kits will keep them from getting into any kind of problem,” Clark said.
Allen said it was a small group that put the kits together and everyone felt good about what they were doing.
“Everyone felt the same. We’re here to do what we can,” Allen said.
Many Niles officers were already carrying some form of protection, but the kits are a big bonus, further emphasizing the teamwork it takes to keep police safe.
“It is nice to have that sort of relationship with, not only a business organization, but also members of the community,” Marshall said.
Shepherd of the Valley also provided 32 full-body suits of various sizes for even more protection.