DA, EMS partner to put naloxone in police hands

The Lycoming County commissioners signed an agreement Tuesday that allows the Susquehanna Regional EMS and district attorney’s office to provide local law enforcement agencies with naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.

Eric R. Linhardt, district attorney, requested the commissioners’ support of the agreement. He said the costs will be paid with drug forfeiture money from his office, which will be reimbursed through a grant from the state District Attorneys Association. There is no cost to the county, he said.

“If the grant at some point should expire in the future, it will continue to be funded from my forfeiture monies,” Linhardt said.

Linhardt explained that the agencies that receive the opioid overdose reversal drug must provide the district attorney’s office with proof of training to administer the drug and must create written policies. The district attorney’s office will keep records of the distribution and use of the naloxone.

The Williamsport, South Williamsport, Old Lycoming Township, Hughesville, Tiadaghton Regional and the county sheriff’s department and all sheriff’s detectives are the police agencies volunteering to participate in the program. Those agencies will join the state police and Pennsylvania College of Technology police “who have been carrying naloxone for some time” through their own programs, Linhardt said.

Other agencies in the county that wish to participate may join at any time, he added. Conversely, if any of the participating agencies want to discontinue the program, they may. The program is completely voluntary, Linhardt said.

He added that he expects law enforcement to start receiving naloxone “in the next several weeks.”

In another business, the commissioners approved a loan agreement with Woda Group Inc., the firm developing the Muncy Green independent living community, in the amount of $50,000 for the Muncy Green project. The loan will come from mortgages, deeds and other funds collected by the register and recorder — funds that only may support affordable housing projects, said Mya Toon, chief procurement officer.

The county will be reimbursed through an annual payment over a 15-year period, Toon said.

The commissioners also took the time to honor the county’s juvenile probation department, thanking director Ed Robbins for his department’s work.

“All the evidence that we’ve seen shows that you’ve had a lot of success with the young people that you work with,” Commissioner Jack McKernan said to Robbins and his staff, all of whom were present. “I think that can be attributed to the longevity of your employees — they obviously love what they’re doing. So we thank you for your dedication and the work that you do.”

Robbins went on to announce the department’s volumes are down in terms of arrests and placements and it is working well with schools and the court system. He added the department will be “coming in under budget, again.”

Robbins thanked the commissioners for their support and kind words but said it’s his staff members who deserve the credit.

“They’re really the ones that make the change,” he said. “They’re the ones to be commended.”

The commissioners also will consider action on professional service agreements with Three+One, a New York based municipal investment advisory service, and Tower Services Unlimited Inc., as well as several personnel matters.

Commissioners McKernan, Tony Mussare and Rick Mirabito were present. The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday.