RNC Investigating Overdoses at Police Headquarters

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) is advising of an incident where a female, detained for Drug Recognition Examination, overdosed while in custody.

On Friday, May 19, 2017 just after 1:00 pm, police were called to a report of a possible impaired driver on Ropewalk Lane in St. John’s. On arrival, officers detained a 29 year old woman of St. John’s for suspicion of impairment by drugs. The woman was conveyed to RNC Provincial Police HQ at 1 Fort Townshend so that a Drug Recognition Examination (DRE) could be completed as part of the Impaired Driving investigation.

While conducting the DRE the officer who was administering the test observed the woman’s condition change. As a precaution, the officer immediately called for paramedics. Paramedics arrived and were on scene for 10-15 minutes before the woman’s condition charged drastically. The woman was given NARCON/NALOXONE by paramedics on board the ambulance before being conveyed to a local emergency room for further treatment and observation. The woman subsequently left the hospital. At this time, it is not known what drugs the woman may have been using but investigators suspect the use of an opioid drug.

For a brief time, the RNC’s DRE/Breath Examination area at Headquarters had to be quarantined so that officers wearing Personal Protective Equipment could clean the area and ensure it was safe for further use. Additionally, a marked patrol car was also cleaned as a precaution. The officers involved were not injured in this incident and the investigation is ongoing.

The RNC is again issuing a very strong warning to the public that coming into contact with certain opioids such as Fentanyl could be lethal.