Another Naloxone Save

On the same day we posted a blog on the new #NOverdose campaign, EPPD officers administered naloxone to a man experiencing a heroin overdose and saved his life.

Around 9:30 p.m. Feb. 8, an EPPD officer noticed suspicious behavior in the parking lot of a car wash. Upon investigating, the officer found two men outside of a car. One of the men was lying on the ground unconscious and the other man was standing over him. The man on the ground had labored breathing and was sweating profusely. Although his companion said the man on the ground had not taken any drugs, the officer noticed several physical signs of an opioid overdose and a needle lying on the ground next to the man.

Additional officers arrived on the scene and administered naloxone, a medication given through the nose that reverses the effects of a heroin overdose. Officers were assisted by Eden Prairie firefighters and Edina paramedics. Within 3-4 minutes the man regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital.

Since 2011 Eden Prairie has experienced eight overdose deaths and seven overdoses where the person survived. In three of those seven cases naloxone was administered.

If you or someone you know needs help for an opioid addiction contact the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration hotline at 1-800-662-4357. The hotline is toll-free, confidential and open 24/7/365.

Chaplains & Chili

Chaplains Jim McCracken, Jac Perrin, John Brecount, Paul Nelson, Sharon Predovich, Peter Johnson, Dale DeMell. Not pictured: Jim Erickson, Nolana Holloway

Yesterday our volunteer Police and Fire Chaplains hosted chili meals for our staff throughout the day. It’s an opportunity for the Chaplains to spend time with EPPD employees in an informal setting, which they don’t often get a chance to do.

Each Chaplain is affiliated with a church in Eden Prairie. The nine pastors take turns serving on-call and are dispatched to scenes where first responders think the spiritual presence of a Chaplain would bring some comfort to those involved. The scenes range from missing person reports to death investigations to car crashes. In 2016 Chaplains were dispatched to incident scenes 22 times.

We appreciate our Chaplains for so many reasons. In addition to making delicious chili, they also selflessly give of their time to provide emotional and spiritual care to both community members and public safety responders. We are fortunate to have them as our partners in public service.

#NOverdose

Last week, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office announced a yearlong, countywide drug prevention campaign called “#NOverdose.” The campaign is a response to the high number of opioid-related deaths in Hennepin County in 2016.

Preliminary statistics show there were 144 opioid-related deaths in Hennepin County during 2016, a 31-percent increase from the year before. In Eden Prairie there have been eight overdose deaths since 2011. An additional six people overdosed but survived.

In a high-profile case in Eden Prairie in April 2016, a man was found slumped over in his car in the Costco parking lot. Investigators determined he had used heroin laced with fentanyl which caused his death. Four other people in Minnesota died after taking heroin from the same dealer as the man who died in Eden Prairie. The heroin dealer in all of those cases, Beverly Burrell, is now facing five murder charges.

As part of the campaign, the Sheriff’s Office is building a coalition of school districts, law enforcement agencies, elected officials, community members and community organizations that can assist with educating parents and youth about current drug dangers and trends.

In Eden Prairie we are attacking the opioid problem in several ways. First, we are educating kids about the dangers of opioids through the CounterAct program, where our school liaison officers teach 700 elementary school students each year, and through high school health classes where students are visited by an officer and HCMC paramedic.

Second, we started a program in 2014 to give away home medication disposal bags to residents so they can remove and safely discard unused medications from their homes. We also encourage residents to secure their current medications, in particular from curious teenagers.

Third, all of our officers began carrying naloxone in 2015. Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of a heroin overdose and has the ability to save lives. In addition, the EPPD has an officer who serves full-time on the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force which works to combat drug crimes in Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park.

We are looking forward to working with the Sheriff’s Office and our Eden Prairie community partners to continue our fight against this deadly epidemic.

Polar Plunge 2017 is Coming!

The Polar Plunge is coming to Eden Prairie on March 11! This is your opportunity to jump into the icy waters of Eden Prairie’s Riley Lake (or cheer on others!). The event is part of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, a statewide fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota.

This is the 10th year a Polar Plunge event has taken place in Eden Prairie. During that time 4,579 people plunged, raising $972,677. This year we hope to crack the $1-million mark!

To date in 2017, 222 people have signed up to plunge and have raised $12,732 in online pledges. If you would like to join the fun and help raise money for the Special Olympics by either plunging or pledging, go to Polar Plunge Eden Prairie. If you’d like to learn more about the Polar Plunge, two EPPD officers will be at the lower level of Eden Prairie Center near JCPenney this Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11 to 1 with a squad car and information on how you can help support the Polar Plunge and Special Olympics Minnesota.

Law enforcement agencies have a close relationship with the Special Olympics. The EPPD helps out with a number of annual Special Olympics fundraising events, including the Polar Plunge, under the umbrella of the Special Olympics Torch Run. Law enforcement officers are considered to be the “Guardians” of the “Flame of Hope” which is lit during the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics games each summer.

Serving the EPPD and Our Country

Officers Mason Heine and Evan Hynek at their swearing-in last September with Chief Jim DeMann

This month two EPPD officers will be going on military leave and serving our country, rather than just our community, for a brief time.

Officer Mason Heine serves in the 257th Military Police Company, Minnesota Army National Guard. He is deploying to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba and is expected to return in late 2017.

Officer Evan Hynek, who is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Minnesota Army National Guard, is leaving for Army Logistics University at Fort Lee, Va.  He will attend an Ordinance Basic Officer Leadership Course and is expected to return in June of this year.

Both officers served as Community Service Officers for the EPPD before becoming sworn officers in September 2016.

We are proud to support them as they serve our country and look forward to their safe return home.