UPDATE: Sheriff Bradshaw Finally Approves Deputies To Carry Narcan
UPDATE – October 25th, 2022
PBSO tells Boca Post that Sheriff Bradshaw, who previously refused to distribute NARCAN to his deputies, is now distributing over 2,000 sworn deputies with the life-saving nasal spray to combat the opioid epidemic.
PBSO says that the department, the largest cost to taxpayers in Palm Beach County, got Narcan for free via the Florida Department of Health’s HEROS Program (Helping Emergency Responders Obtain Support).
FIRST reported by Boca Post – August 15th, 2022
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL – Boca Post (BocaPost.com) — Palm Beach Sheriff Bradshaw tells Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners that PBSO will allow deputies to carry Narcan.
In typical political fashion, Palm Beach County’s top cop has changed his mind on the use of Narcan. Sheriff Bradshaw has been pushing back on the county commissioner’s requests that deputies carry Narcan, a popular opioid blocker, until today.
In a letter Sheriff Bradshaw sent to The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, the Sheriff writes:
“In view of the current national opioid overdose epidemic and the large importations of Fentanyl, we have decided to allow our deputies to carry Narcan. This falls short of a long-term solution to the addiction problem. The focus needs to be on education, prevention, and treatment.
This decision also comes after numerous contacts with our local, state, and federal partners on the carrying of Narcan by their officers. We will be conducting a three (3) year study on the use and results of this decision to determine continued deployment.
The implementation of Narcan deployment will be approximately $200,000 which is not in the Agency’s present budget nor the one presented for next year. The county will need to decide on funding.”
At a recent budget meeting, while Bradshaw was recovering from surgery, Frank DeMario, Bradshaw’s chief of law enforcement operations, went on the record saying “We are not paramedics”. DeMario said that Bradshaw “does not want his deputies to carry it. Drug addiction is not a law-enforcement issue. We do a lot, but you are going to ask us to put another tool in our toolbox”.
Weeks after his heart surgery, Bradshaw has changed his mind about Narcan. Now the largest law enforcement agency and expense to PBC taxpayers just as to find $200,000 to pay for the life-saving drug. His letter to the commissioners clearly expressed it wasn’t coming out of PBSO’s already over-inflated budget.