Chief Edward James Walsh
23 Summer St.
Taunton, MA 02780
Thursday, June 28, 2018
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Taunton Police Chief Attends Meeting with Governor Baker About Naloxone Grant Funding
TAUNTON — Police Chief Edward Walsh met with Governor Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders at an event in Brockton today to announce that Taunton will be one of several communities to receive grant funding to assist with the opioid crisis.
The Taunton Police Department will be receiving grant funding to help purchase the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and pay for the cost of overdose response training. Naloxone is commonly known by the brand name Narcan.
At the meeting and press event, Governor Baker announced that $940,000 in grant money would go to 33 police and fire departments across the state.
“Our police and fire departments are often first on the scene of an overdose and it is critical that they have access to the medication they need to save an individual’s life,” said Governor Baker. “Our Administration remains committed to providing resources to our communities to curb this public health epidemic, and to stemming the tide of overdose deaths in Massachusetts.”
In addition to Chief Walsh attending, the police and fire chiefs from Brockton were at the event, in addition to the police chiefs from Fall River and New Bedford.
The First Responder Naloxone grants, which are funded by the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, range from $5,000 to $50,000 based on the population of each city and town.
In addition to overdose rescue training and purchasing naloxone, the funds can be used to promote the state’s Good Samaritan Law, which encourages anyone who witnesses an overdose to seek help from professionals by providing the caller, and the person who overdosed, protection from arrest and prosecution for drug possession.
“Broad distribution and access to naloxone is one key strategy of the Commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic,” Secretary Sudders said. “The Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchasing Program was established to allow communities to purchase this life-saving medication at a discounted rate and by making naloxone more accessible, we can save more lives and provide opportunities for treatment and recovery.”
The first half hour of the event included a private meeting between Governor Baker, Secretary Sudders and the chiefs.
“Naloxone has been proven to save lives as we work diligently to fight this opioid epidemic,” Chief Walsh said. “Every bit helps and I thank Governor Baker’s administration for their commitment to helping communities like Taunton.”