Sarasota County deputies aren't taking any chances when it comes to handling heroin and fentanyl during drug investigations. This comes after an Ohio officer overdosed earlier this month after an accidental exposure to fentanyl.
"He absorbed it through his skin and had the reaction that he did, this synthetic heroin is a hundred times more potent than actual heroin," said Col. Kurt A. Hoffman.
Deputies will no longer test for heroin or fentanyl in the field, instead they'll have a special team take the substance back to a lab.
"Trying to get it into small containers is what we are eliminating, but we still will be able to make arrests," said Hoffman
Deputies believe this new change will keep deputies safe.
"We just think this is the proper thing to do for our personnel so we aren't exposing them," said Hoffman.
There have been seventeen deaths from drug use this year in Sarasota County.