KEY POINTS

  • A sheriff's deputy in Mendocino County was involved in a suspected drug overdose
  • He was revived with naloxone and is expected to recover
  • Mendocino County has referred the case to Sonoma County law enforcement

Sheriff’s deputies in Mendocino County were called to the house of one of their colleagues earlier this week after they received word of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found the off-duty deputy in the apparent throes of an opioid overdose.

The Advocate reports that responding officers found drug paraphernalia and suspected illegal drugs at the officer’s home. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, the sergeant believed the medical emergency could be an illicit drug overdose. The officer’s deployed naloxone (better known as Narcan) to save the officer’s life.

The deputy involved in the incident has been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy. He was transported to a local hospital Monday evening, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

“The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is deeply concerned this incident can cause degradation of public trust within our community,” the department said in the press release right after stating that they wanted to be as transparent as possible.

Newly minted Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall has referred the case to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in an effort to preserve departmental integrity and the legitimacy of the investigation. The case is now being handled by the Sonoma County Narcotics team. The investigation is also being handled through a joint partnership between the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Bureau, who is conducting their own internal investigation to determine the scope of the issue.

Opioids continue to be a problem among the entirety of Illinois, including law enforcement and public-sector employees. n 2017, there were 2,202 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in Illinois—a rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.