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Published: Thursday, 4/17/2014

Lucas County Sheriff's Office hosts crime scene training

Session focused on drug overdoses, its effects across the state


About 50 local law enforcement officials reviewed how to investigate crime scenes, including drug overdoses, at a training session today at the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff John Tharp organized the training, which included presentations from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations and a Toledo substance abuse treatment provider, in response to what officials have called a heroin “epidemic” that has affected the local region and across the state.

Training session participants reviewed how to respond to crime scenes and how to preserve evidence including syringes, bindles, cell phones, and other objects commonly found at the scene of an overdose death. Sheriff Tharp said his office will be investigating overdose deaths for possible prosecution of drug suppliers.

They also learned from a local substance abuse treatment provider about what resources are available to family members and addicts whom they may encounter while responding to a scene.

“The sheriff’s department, the city police they’re at times usually the first people to start the ball rolling for recovery,” said Matthew Rizzo, vice president of compliance and clinical operations for A Renewed Mind. “Sometimes a crisis can be fertile ground for starting the change process.”

Sheriff Tharp plans to follow up training with deputies on how to help connect people with outreach agencies.

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