Milwaukee HOPE kit initiative; new partnership with MPD announced
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee police want drugs off the street, but more than that, they want people to not die of overdose. Now, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is a partner with the HOPE kit initiative. They are available to anyone in the community -- no questions asked.
"It has been alarming the amount of overdoses we have experienced," said Milwaukee County Sheriff Denita Ball.
"From 2020 to 2022, MPD has administered Narcan 259 times," said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman.
MPD is now distributing HOPE kits. Each HOPE kit contains the following:
- One 2-pack of Narcan nasal spray with instruction card
- One single-use CPR face shield
- Two Fentanyl test strips
- Harm reduction, treatment, and community resource information cards
"No community is unscathed by this particular issue, and we understand that we need to ensure that we have a good process, so we’re starting out where the need is greatest right now," Norman said.
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The kits will first be available at Milwaukee Police Districts 2 and 3 – where emergency responders get a large amount of overdose calls.
Community Medical Services has already played a role in getting the HOPE kits into the community through the Milwaukee Fire Department.
"It isn’t just that individual that’s dying. These are loved ones. These are mothers and fathers and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles. These families are hurting," said Amanda DeLeon, Community Medical Services.
According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, 502 people died of fentanyl overdoses in 2022. Nine people died of overdoses this past weekend along.
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"Hearing those numbers make me want to fight more and fight more," DeLeon said.
Since March 2022, the Milwaukee Fire Department has handed out more than 3,000 HOPE kits. Officials hope with the police department's help, they will be able to save even more lives.