CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Two Clovis police officers are out of the hospital Monday after being exposed to fentanyl on Sunday.
The incident began when police confronted Patrick Martin, a transient, behind a supermarket at Willow and Nees avenues. Officers say they found Martin with a white substance inside a container and found him to have active warrants.
Martin was arrested but en route to the police station, the officer realized something was wrong.
Police scanner audio tells the story:
“Can you meet me at Willow and Herndon,” says the officer in the recording. “My heart rate’s elevating and I’m having a hard time breathing.”
Minutes later, a community service officer who had also reported to the incident behind the supermarket radioed in.
“I’ve got an elevated heart rate as well,” she says on the audio recording.
The white substance was confirmed to be meth and the deadly drug fentanyl, and both officers had been exposed to it.
Clovis Police Lt. Jim Munro says both officers had gloves on and followed their training, but incidents involving fentanyl are becoming more common.
“Just this year we have administered 11 doses of Narcan to people that have been actively overdosing,” Munro says.
Lt. Munro says the drug is easy to access and the recent fentanyl overdose death of a Clovis high school student has rocked the community.
“It’s not something when I started 20 years ago was even a concern of ours,” Munro says. “We can say that we are definitely seeing younger people with this type of drug.”
Parents who want access to Narcan for use in the case of the overdose of a child can obtain information on Fresno County’s website.