Officials awaiting funding for device that could save officers’ lives

Special Reports

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — Exposure to opioids during a traffic stop has caused many officers to overdose.

There’s a tool to help protect first responders, but high prices have left a barrier for many agencies.

The device, called TruNarc, can detect illegal drugs by using lasers, then comparing them to a library of chemical compounds. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said he hopes to get the device in the field for his officers.

“I have over 700 men and women working for me, and my job is to make sure each one of them gets home safely at the end of their shift,” Apple said.

Apple’s deputies will know, on the spot, if they’re in danger of drug exposure.

“These devices are very small, will be able to detect – will give us results relatively quickly,” Apple said.

Lawmakers are stepping in to ease the burden.

Several United States senators, including Chuck Schumer, are reaching across party lines to pass the “Power Act,” which will make the devices affordable through a grant.

Schumer said he hopes the bill will pass in the next couple months.

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