Charleston, South Carolina – Charleston Police Department is constantly working to improve the safety in the city with implementing new technologies.
According to multiple reports, the CPD will very soon implement a new technology that will allow the department the track over—dosing in real time.
The project worth $900,000 will be sponsored with a grant and the technology will help the officers in fighting the opioid epidemic and substance abuse in the city.
“This grant has the over-arching goal of preventing overdoses in our city and connecting people who struggle with substance use disorder to treatment options,” said Rachel Lefebre, the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Outreach Coordinator for the Charleston Police Department.
The $900,000 grant will be enough the cover the software implementation and will additionally allow the department to hire two officers. With the software in place, the Charleston Police Department can share the gathered data with the other law enforcement agencies.
“Two peer recovery specialists. They are someone in long term recovery from substance use themselves so they can really understand the position these people are in and can make connections,” said Lefebre.
According to the data provided by the Charleston Police Department, the number of overdose deaths in 2020 increased by 54% mostly because of the pandemic and the isolation. Taking into consideration the increasing number, the grant and implementation of the project come at the right time.
What is even better, the project will in no case affect the taxpayers since it’s completely funded by the grant itself. According to Charleston City Councilmember Peter Shahid, the implementation of such project is great for both the city, as it improves safety, as well as for the police department.
“The police have taken a very wonderful human approach to this thing. Not to punish people but respond in a compassionate way. Hopefully, this money will help in coordinating the response to the crisis,” said Peter Shahid, Charleston City Councilmember District 9.
It will also get the community involved with using Narcan in an emergency situation.
“We want to make sure people in the community have it as well. Because it is often a bystander who uses Narcan during an overdose and saves a life. With this we are able to provide it free of charge,” said Lefembre.