ELPD gets drug overdose treatment tool

Narcan kits life-saving first treatment for heroin, opioid overdoses
by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The Police Department here will be one of the Sheboygan County law enforcement agencies equipped to deal with a heroin overdose emergency.

Police Chief Michael Meeusen, in his annual report to the Village Board Monday, said that members of his department were among those trained Monday in the use of Narcan at the Sheboygan Police Department headquarters.

Narcan, or Naloxone, is used to counteract the effects of heroin and opioid overdoses, Meeusen told the board. It was made available to local law enforcement through a grant from Acuity and with training from Aurora Medical Center personnel.

Each of the department’s vehicles will carry two doses of Narcan, Meeusen said. It is administered nasally and restores breathing in the victim, who generally stops breathing as a result of an overdose.

“Hopefully we’ll never use it, but nobody is immune from it,” Meeusen told the trustees.

While heroin is becoming less prevalent in the community, Meeusen said, it is still present in Elkhart Lake and the Narcan kits will provide an important life-saving tool for officers.

Meeusen said there will be no cost to the village for the Narcan kits, which will be replaced if needed as part of the grant.

The board approved the Narcan program agreement.

Meeusen also told the board that his department was recently accredited by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group.

“We’re the only police department in Sheboygan County to be accredited. I’m pretty proud of that fact. It took a lot of work but it was well worth it. It gives the community an extra sense that we’re doing things right,” Meeusen stated.

The accreditation asserts that the department meets WILEAG’s state-of-the-art standards for police departments, he added.

Meeusen told the board that his department is experiencing an increased impact from their social media presence.

“It’s kind of interesting how social media plays into law enforcement, more than some departments realize,” Meeusen observed.

He cited one of the department’s social media posts last year about a missing dog. It got 7,000 views, according to Meeusen, and the dog was found and returned within 60 minutes.

The board also heard annual reports from Superintendent of Public Works Richard Solek and Fire Chief Pat Zorn.

Solek said the village had three street paving projects last year. “Most were done in a very, very short time. They worked out pretty well,” he said.

“We had no water main breaks in 2015, which was unusual,” Solek added.

Zorn told the board the next piece of equipment his department will be looking to replace is the aerial ladder truck, probably sometime around 2018.

He recommended replacing the current 55-foot ladder truck with a 100-foot ladder truck. Zorn explained that even with a 75- foot ladder, firefighters would not be able to reach the entire roof at larger buildings like The Osthoff and Siebken’s resorts.

A new truck would cost $630,000 to $750,000, Zorn estimated, while a used truck would be $500,000 to $550,000.

“It will be a tough fight, I know that. I’ve been told that,” Zorn said of the proposed purchase.

Zorn thanked the board for their support of the department. “Without your support we could not do the job we do. To get the job done and keep our firefighters safe we need good equipment and, for the most part, we have it.”

Trustee Richard Sadiq reported that the location for the Farmers and Artisans Market is still unsettled.

The Wisconsin and Southern Railroad had requested that the market not set up on their right-of-way in and around the village square, which would cut into the market’s area a great deal.

“The chamber hasn’t been able to find any other community that has any events in a railroad right-of-way,” Village Administrator/ Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly noted.

She added that there is also some concern about leasing out the retail space in the depot since the building also houses a historical museum.

“Until we get the farmers market location settled, we probably shouldn’t pursue a lease for the depot,” Reilly added.

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