York City School District Police approved to carry Narcan, win awards at national conference
Students in York City School District may have been off for the summer, but the district's school resource officers were still hard at work.
"We really worked hard and got a lot accomplished over the summer," Chief Michael Muldrow said.
While the students they protect during the school year were on vacation, the York City School District's Police Department nabbed two awards at the annual National Association of School Resource Officers and became the first school security team in the county approved to carry Narcan.
Narcan: "We have received training and all of our officers will be equipped with Narcan," Muldrow said. "We're very proud of that. It was monumental when (District Attorney Tom) Kearney signed off on that for us."
Through Kearney's office, the school resource officers will be supplied with Narcan — which costs between $30 and $100 for a kit with two doses — for free.
"We had the opportunity to send our officers to municipal police to get recertified and updated, and one of the training options that got pushed through the state was for Narcan," Muldrow said, noting a recent law change that has allowed officers to be equipped with the lifesaving product. "So we made our calls and did our due diligence and worked through the DA's office and brought that to fruition."
Narcan, a treatment that revives those who have overdosed on opioids and opiates, has been utilized by police departments across the county and has saved many victims of drug abuse and overdose.
"We're responders, first responders," Muldrow said. "We wanted to make sure we were yet another source to our community and make that available. Now we can use those first couple of seconds instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive."
While the need for Narcan is not a persistent one, Muldrow said it's always good to be prepared.
"This is all about preparation; God forbid that anybody once will have to use it," he said. "Being that the anti-overdose drug works with any opiate, even some of the prescription drugs that people overdose on and things that some youths are taking, like ecstasy, it's a really valuable tool. It's not something we see on a daily basis, but the potential is there. We have teachers and even students who take prescription medicine for health reasons, so now we'll even be prepared in cases of accidental abuse. It works and it's safe to be used on adults and kids. Now we won't have to waste those precious minutes."
Awards: Of the hundreds of school resource officer agencies participating in NASRO training in Orlando this year, the York City School District Police was the only team to take home two awards: the NASRO Model Agency Award and the Exceptional Service Award, which was given to Muldrow.
"It was incredible, it was so humbling," Muldrow said. "Myself, I actually come from the York City Police Department, I was (a school resource officer) back in the school since 2003 or 2004, and I always knew how hard the job was and how difficult being in law enforcement is, but you get to move in a lot of circles."
One of those circles allowed him to attend conferences where he was inspired to begin the York City School District Police team.
"I was able to see the (Los Angeles Police Department) school police and met a lot of those officers and fell in love with the concept," he said. "It's kind of foreign in this area, but after seeing it in L.A. about seven years ago, we knew then that it would be something that would be a benefit and started tailoring it to what this school needs."
A little more than two years ago, the school police department was approved, and it has been growing and improving since.
"Taking it to fruition from that dream phase, to come from where it was nothing and build it to a national, recognized agency, I mean it was already huge to just pull it off in the first place," Muldrow said. "But to then be recognized and to have people see what you're doing, to have that ultimate oversight officiant — NASRO, they train everyone — to have that overseeing body say in the course of just two years, 'Hey, you guys get it,' well, that's amazing."
The district's school board echoed Muldrow's excitement.
"We are so grateful that you're always learning," said Margie Orr, board president. "We can always say we're proud of you and your fellow officers and the work you all are doing."
— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.