OVERLAND PARK, Kan. —The City of Overland Park is considering a new plan to curb opioid related deaths in the community. 

Wednesday the Overland Park Public Safety Committee will consider a proposal that would allow Overland Park police officers to carry the overdose reversal drug Narcan. 

According to a recent analysis by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), overdose deaths have increased drastically over the last decade.

From 2011 to 2020, drug overdose deaths increased approximately 73% from 275 deaths to 477. More than half of overdose deaths in 2020 were opioid related and of those deaths, 161 involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

According to city documents, in 2021 Overland Park police responded to 65 drug overdose incidents, with 10 of them resulting in death. As of November 2022, Overland Park police have responded to 71 drug overdose incidents, with ten of them resulting in death.

If the plan is approved, the city would partner with Johnson County EMS Medical Director Dr. Ryan Jacobsen to establish a protocol for officers to obtain, carry and administer Narcan nasal spray.

If approved by the committee, the proposal will progress to the city council for final approval.