Some lawmakers say some police ill-equipped for overdoses

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group of 20 lawmakers backs a bill to require more rigorous medical training for police officers.

The bill sponsor is Republican state Rep. Hank Vaupel. He says some rural police aren’t properly equipped to rescue people undergoing heroin or prescription opioid overdoses. His bill would require all emergency first responders, including police, to stay current on CPR training suited for the overdoses.

Medical experts say opioids can often shut down breathing, and they need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in some cases. But Vaupel says he spoke with two police chiefs who don’t require their departments to be trained in rescue breathing.

George Basar is Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police legislative director. He calls the bill unnecessary because recruits trained in the state’s 20 police academies already must learn rescue breathing.

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