Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Wakefield Police Launch App Aimed at Reducing Opioid Overdoses and Deaths
WAKEFIELD — Chief Rick Smith announces that the Wakefield Police Department has implemented a new online application targeted at reducing opioid deaths in town.
Called the Overdose Detection Mapping Application, the system was developed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. Every time police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel respond to drug overdoses, they enter data regarding the response into the app’s online system, which is then made available to other law enforcement and public health officials.
Wakefield Police implemented the app in early August, and are now able to determine the location of an overdose, whether or not Narcan was administered and learn if it ended in a recovery or fatality. First responders can also make notes in the app, like types of drugs that were used. Confidential patient information is not entered and the data is not available to members of the public.
By monitoring information displayed through the app, officials can determine if there has been an increase in the number of overdoses reported in a specific area of town, or in neighboring communities. First responders can then better prepare for emergencies, such as a spike in overdoses or a rise in the prevalence of fentanyl or other drugs, and issue alerts to other first responders and the public.
“The Overdose Detection Mapping App is a vital tool that allows us to better predict and prevent people from overdosing on dangerous opioids like heroin and fentanyl,” Chief Smith said. “The more resources we deploy to combat the opioid epidemic, the more lives we can save.”
The app was first used in the Washington D.C./Baltimore metropolitan region and has since spread across the country.