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New Device Helps First Responders Detect Drugs in Minutes

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark -- Illegal drugs and opioids are a hot topic and for good reason. These substances can be deadly no matter who's in contact with them.

A new technology is being used law enforcement and other agencies in Arkansas are using to curb the drug problem as well as keep first responders safe.

"A lot of times this type of stuff is cut with fentanyl in it." said Sgt. Tony Murphy, Fayetteville Police Department. For first responders, coming in contact with certain drugs can be deadly.

"If we're not safe then we can't keep other people safe," Sgt. Murphy said.

According to Police, some narcotics have become more of a problem, putting law enforcement in danger. "All these officers have families at home and people that love them so its the number one priority when we are out there," Sgt. Murphy said. 

It's a problem police on both the local and state level have become aware of...

"We were concerned the threat of fentanyl and safety not only for officers but for the community. " it can be deadly just upon absorption or inhaling them," said Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Director.

So just how bad is this problem? If the amount of sugar in a sweetening packet were replaced with fentanyl , It would be enough to kill 500 people.

"With this fentanyl scare we have taken it another step," Sgt Murphy said. 

On Wednesday, The Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane unveiled a new device called TruNarc, which can detect over 450 different drugs digitally in just minutes.

"The neat thing about it is you can actually use the laser through the packaging that the controlled substance is in without even opening that package," Lane said.  It safely expedites the process of finding out what substance someone may have overdosed on.

"Having  the ability to investigate that overdose right then and there and have that information of what that substance was in that time frame," Lane said. 

Keeping many out of harms way of these deadly substances ,a reality Gina Allgaier knows all too well. Allgaier lost her son to an overdose in 2017.

"People need to know this, we lost our son and there are a number of other individuals across our own state that have lost loved ones to fentanyl and opioids," Allgaier said. With this new device working to put a dent in the drugs on the street a common theme that families 

" I just think there is alot of new technology to come that is going to make a positive impact in this space," Allgaier said. With law enforcement also being able to look forward to the new technology for the future.

"Technology, if it can keep us safer, we are all for it," Sgt. Murphy said. 

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