Thomasville, AL – A Thomasville police sergeant abruptly collapsed to the pavement and was knocked unconscious after being exposed to fentanyl while responding to a call last month, according to police.
Thomasville Police Department (TPD) Chief Mitchell Stuckey said the unidentified sergeant responded to a call of a drug overdose on April 22 and had just returned to the police department at approximately 2 a.m. when the effects of the exposure hit him, WKRG reported.
The sergeant had been on the phone with his wife just moments before and told her he wasn’t feeling well, according to the chief.
The sergeant was wearing protective gloves and other gear while he was out on the overdose call, but those precautions weren’t enough to prevent his exposure, Chief Stuckey said.
Another officer met him outside the police department when he pulled up, WKRG reported.
“He said ‘man I just don’t feel well’ and [the other officer] said ‘let me Narcan you now’ and he said ‘no let me just stand up,’” Chief Mitchell recounted.
Security footage showed the sergeant as he stepped out if his patrol vehicle and immediately collapsed to the ground.
“He just fell,” the chief told WKRG. “He fell flat on his face onto the pavement and then he went out. Eyes were rolled back…basically, he was dying.”
Chief Mitchell said the sergeant likely would have died if not for the efforts of his fellow officers, who quickly administered Narcan and rushed him to the hospital.
“Fentanyl is so dangerous,” the chief told WKRG. “I mean, it’s 50 times more potent than heroin, 100 times more potent than morphine. It only takes one grain, the size of a grain of salt, to kill a human being.”
Chief Stuckey said the sergeant has recovered and spoke about the incident during a recent fentanyl training at the police department.
“We always want to believe it’s not going to happen to us, but it happened to us the other night,” the chief told WKRG. “Thank God the good Lord above saved us from not having to plan a funeral right now.”
Thomasville has seen a recent uptick in fentanyl-related cases, including two in just the past month alone.
“If you put us at risk, there will be other consequences for you,” Chief Stuckey warned. “Assault on a police officer, murder, attempted murder. I promise you if my officer died the other night, I would’ve charged you with murder.”