MPD responds to 65 Drug Overdoses in 9 days

June 6, 2019 (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – The Minneapolis Police Department would like to make the public aware of the occurrence of 50 overdoses, including one suspected fatality during the week of May 28 – June 5, 2019. Out of these 50 incidents, 15 overdoses occurred on Sunday, June 2nd including the suspected fatality. This is an all-time weekly high of drug overdoses in the City of Minneapolis. Additionally, MPD officers have responded to 15 overdoses in the past 2 days, June 4th and June 5th.

At this time, the MPD Strategic Analysis Unit and investigators have detected multiple types of drugs contributing to this spike in call volume this last week, including counterfeit oxycontin, potent heroin, and additional unknown substances. It is nearly impossible to attribute the entirety of this spike to just one source and all illicit drugs bought on the street should be considered dangerous and have the potential to contain powerful opiates such as fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The 50 overdoses occurred throughout the City and the geographical breakdown is as follows: Precinct 1 – 8, Precinct 2 – 2, Precinct 3 – 33, Precinct 4 – 6, Precinct 5 – 10, with the majority of calls coming from the area around the East Phillips neighborhood (see attached map.) On Sunday, June 2nd, there were 15 overdoses calls with 10 occurring within a 9-hour time frame. These 10 cases occurred citywide and all appear to be related to heroin. The suspected fatality occurred at the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue South.

The MPD has increased patrols in the high overdose areas and is continuing our ongoing partnership with the City of Minneapolis Health Department and the State of MN Health Department in raising awareness to drug overdoses. MPD officers are equipped with Narcan and have administered it when applicable. MPD is in constant communication with surrounding agencies regarding overdose trends and patterns in an effort to provide timely information to the public.

The MPD has created an overdose coordinator position that is staffed by an investigator embedded with the Homicide Unit. This overdose coordinator is responsible for reviewing all OD incidents, acting as a liaison with the Strategic Analysis Unit to determine any specific patterns of OD incidents and assisting other units within the department to determine potential sources of illegal narcotics.

The MPD would also like to remind citizens of “Steve’s Law”, Minnesota’s Good Samaritan Law which protects people from being charged or prosecuted if they act in good faith while seeking medical treatment for another person experiencing a drug related overdose.

With such a large increase in overdoses in a short period of time, the Minneapolis Police Department is alerting the public to create public health awareness and asking the community to:

· Call 911 if they or someone they know is experiencing an overdose

· Administer Narcan

· Share this information with anyone who uses illegal drugs

· Seek help for addiction at a chemical dependency treatment center