La Crosse Police to change drug testing policy - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse Police to change drug testing policy

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - Police in western Wisconsin are changing how they test potentially fatal drugs to protect officers from danger.

The La Crosse Police Department will test suspected drugs later this month in two ductless fume hoods that trap airborne particles.

The agency ordered officers in December to stop testing unknown substances in small plastic pouches after fentanyl grew prevalent in the city. The Drug Enforcement Administration says the synthetic opioid is potent and can kill someone if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

La Crosse Police will use the same fume hoods at the crime labs so officers don't have to test the substances in Madison. Each fume hood costs the agency $3,500, and a second officer with access to Narcan will be present during testing.

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