2 Phoenix officers hospitalized after exposure to cocaine
PHOENIX — Two Phoenix police officers were hospitalized Tuesday after they were exposed to a substance that was determined to be cocaine.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said one of the unidentified officers started to feel ill after investigating a white, powdery substance during an arrest.
The substance was initially thought to have been fentanyl.
“Because of the nature of some of the drugs that we deal with now, it was thought best to take he and his partner to the hospital for precautionary reasons,” Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Thompson said he believes some of the powder flipped on the officer’s face during the investigation, causing his symptoms. They have since been released from the hospital.
Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told KTAR News that paramedics were called to the Cactus Park police station near 39th Avenue and Cactus Road to treat the officer.
McDade said the incident points to a new danger that officers have been facing.
“This is a new frontier for us. Really, fentanyl is permeating our streets,” McDade said. “We did not go on these calls just five years ago, so the problem is it’s just so unpredictable.
“One postage-stamp size could do enough to get somebody that high they’re chasing, and then that exact same amount could kill two people. So there’s just really, that’s the dangerous part.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.