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Arizona livestock officers now carrying Narcan

Posted at 5:54 AM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 15:15:42-05

Beginning this week, nine livestock officers with the Arizona Department of Agriculture are carrying Narcan on the job. 

"The opioid crisis -- the drug crisis -- is everywhere," said director Mark Killian. 

"We wanted to help with the situation so we offered to get our people trained," he said. 

On a day-to-day basis, Killian told ABC15 the officers make sure cattle are being cared for and ranchers follow the rules. They are often working in remote areas of the state and could be the closest first responder in an overdose situation. 

Earlier this year, Governor Doug Ducey declared opioid deaths and overdoses a statewide health emergency. The Arizona Department of Health Services has been training sworn law enforcement -- which includes livestock officers -- how to administer Narcan. 

Killian said his staff is looking at ways to integrate their systems with DPS and local sheriffs' offices so that livestock officers would be notified of an overdose call near them. 

According to AZDHS, since June there have been more than 600 opioid-related deaths and nearly 1,400 overdoses across the state.