The fifth annual Law Enforcement Summit on Heroin and Fentanyl, hosted by NC Harm Reduction, was last week, as reported by News and Observer. Advocates and members of law enforcement from across North Carolina participated in the summit, which was held at N.C. Museum of History
Presenters gave valuable information on the dangerous impacts on increased fentanyl use and the real risk this drug creates for our communities. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) fentanyl is a “powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50-100 times more potent.” Presenters from as far away as Massachusetts, offered first hand accounts of the programs they are successfully using to divert the drug addicted to treatment.
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis) has sponsored federal legislation that would require police “to be trained on de-escalation techniques that focus on preserving life.” We strongly support this bill and her efforts and will track it’s progress at the federal level.
The legislation builds on recommendations from the Police Executive Research Forum which has issued a report entitled “Guiding Principles on Use of Force.”
The bill requires jurisdictions receiving federal Byrne grants to provide training in:
- the use of alternative non-lethal methods;
- verbal and physical tactics to minimize the need for the use of force, with an emphasis on communication, negotiation, de-escalation techniques, providing the time needed to resolve the incident safely for everyone;
- the use of the lowest level of force;
- techniques that provide all officers with awareness and recognition of mental health and substance abuse issue
- principles of using distance, cover and time when approaching and managing critical incidents;
- crisis intervention strategies