ARLINGTON, Wash. (KING) – Three Arlington, Washignton police officers had to be rushed to the hospital Monday after being exposed to heroin that was likely laced with fentanyl.
The officers are expected to be okay, but the incident is highlighting a risk to first responders who are fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Snohomish County.
The three officers showed up at the Arlington Motor Inn on Monday to serve an arrest warrant.
Banfield says the man they were looking for was not at the motel, but when the officers entered a second-floor room, they came face to face with a woman who was allegedly smoking heroin and trying to avoid arrest.
“Right in front of our officers, which is a felony,” said Banfield. “Then she started blowing the smoke everywhere towards our officers. So our officers quickly detained her, one of our officers actually tackled her and was able to get the heroin away from her.”
“It’s not just in this area, it’s across the country,” said Kristin Banfield with the City Of Arlington. “It’s something we are getting daily intelligence reports from across Washington and across the United States, reports of heroin laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin. You can absorb it through your skin, and the absorption is very quick. So it’s very scary for our officers.”