ME: Portland police officer hospitalized after being exposed to suspected Fentanyl

News Center Maine Report –

The officer was exposed to an unknown white powder while searching a vehicle at India Street on Monday.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Police say one of their officers was hospitalized after being exposed to what they believe to be Fentanyl on Monday. The officer was given a dose of Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal drug, and transported to Maine Medical Center and was released later that evening.

Police say the officer was exposed to an unknown white powder while searching a vehicle on Federal Street at India Street in Portland Monday afternoon.

The officer was investigating Colby Pidgeon of Cape Neddick, who was behaving suspiciously in his parked car. Pidgeon was out of bail, which allowed the officer to search Pidgeon and his vehicle.

During the search, the officer was exposed to the substance when he removed a napkin containing the loose powder from a door pocked and some of the powder blew into his face. The officer began feeling sick and called an ambulance.

Police say the powder was tested and is believed to be Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever.

“We are fortunate that our officer wasn’t more seriously injured and has returned to duty,” Portland Police Dept. Lieutenant Robert Martin said in a press release.

Pidgeon was arrested and taken to the Cumberland County Jail. He was charged with unlawful possession of a schedule W drug and violation of conditions of release. Pidgeon is also on probation and is being held without bail for violating conditions of his probation.

If you or someone you know is using opioids, please familiarize yourself with the signs of an opioid-related overdose. Signs include: unresponsiveness, blue lips and/or fingernails, slow or no heartbeat, slow or no breathing, pale/clammy skin, pinpoint pupils. If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately.

For more information on youth substance use prevention, please contact Janet Dosseva at (207) 874-8452 or jdosseva@portlandmaine.gov.

For more information on the Needle Exchange Program: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/866/Needle-Exchange-Program

For more information on the Overdose Prevention Project: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/411/Overdose-Prevention-Project

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