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Maine police department divided over drug field tests

July 6, 2018

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — A Maine police chief’s proposal to use drug field tests has drawn criticism from some officers.

The Bangor Daily News reports Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin asked officers in June to start using drug test pouches again. The department had stopped using the kits because of the rise of fentanyl. The drug can be lethal in small amounts and is often mixed in with heroin and other drugs.

The department currently uses a laboratory.

Sgt. Joey Seeley says the department should reconsider the policy because accidental drug exposures could lead to deaths.

Irwin says using pouches would eliminate a waiting period that hinders many potential cases. He says officers can wear protective gear when using the pouches.

City manager Martin Puckett says he will evaluate the policy.

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Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com

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