Langley RCMP are now carrying naloxone kits to protect themselves from accidental overdoses.
Spokesperson Cpl. Holly Largy said officers in the Langley detachment are being given the kits to carry with them once they have been trained to use them properly.
This comes after at least three police officers in B.C. accidentally overdosed on fentanyl, while either handling the deadly drug or being in contact with it while helping a person who was overdosing.
In two of those incidents, naloxone was used to revive the officers, said Vancouver Police when they issued the kits to their officers.
The naloxone that Langley RCMP will carry is administered as a nasal spray.
Health Canada approved the nasal sprays in July and made them available in light of the overdose crisis going on in B.C., where drug overdoses claimed 488 lives in the first seven months of this year.
In Langley, 19 people have overdosed and died during that time period, including one young man who died in Douglas Park in July.
Langley City firefighters are also completing their training in the use of naloxone to help revive a person who has overdosed.
“The kits will be in the hands of firefighters,” said Mayor Ted Schaffer on Tuesday.
“We know this is an issue we need to deal with, so firefighters have been going through the training.”
By contrast, Township fire chief Stephen Gamble said there are no plans for his crews to carry naloxone kits at this time.
Most street drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine and powdered cocaine now all have a high content of fentanyl, said Fraser Health.
Figures released last August showed that 86 per cent of drugs tested over a four-week period at Vancouver’s Insite contained fentanyl.