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Three San Diego officers exposed to fentanyl following arrest, police say

san diego police station otay mesa fentanyl contamination.png
Posted at 2:58 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 19:25:11-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Fire-Rescue's hazardous material crew was called to a South Bay police station after three officers came into contact with fentanyl.

Three San Diego Police officers at the department's Otay Mesa West substation were exposed to the narcotic sometime before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, after the arrest of a 33-year-old man who officers say was in possession of narcotics for sale.

After the man was brought to the station, more narcotics, believed to be fentanyl, were found, police said. The man began to show signs of drug illness and taken to a nearby hospital.

The three officers were exposed to the drug and were put through decontamination protocols. The officers were not injured, according to SDPD.

A portion of the station was also contaminated and required cleaning. The station has since reopened following decontamination.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and up to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to officials. Even in doses as little as two milligrams, the drug is lethal for most people. Treating fentanyl overdoses often requires naloxone, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Police say the man hospitalized was later released and booked into jail.