HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — As the fight against fentanyl continues throughout Central Texas, many first responders and law enforcement agencies are turning to technology to track overdoses.
The Hays County Sheriff’s Office is looking to expand its tracking efforts in light of the recent uptick in overdoses that took the lives of four Hays CISD students in just a few months.
“We track deaths. Obviously because law enforcement is going to respond to when people unfortunately pass away from overdoses,” Deputy Anthony Hipolito said.
Hipolito said the sheriff’s office wants to partner with the fire department and EMS to get a better picture of all overdoses in the county.
“What we’re trying to do is accurately track overdoses that do not end up in death,” Hipolito said.
Austin-Travis County EMS tracks its overdoses as well. One way is through Project Connect and TxCOPE, a statewide overdose surveillance platform.
“EMS providers can go on there, hospital providers, law enforcement, other public safety agencies can go on there and log these overdoses, so it helps map the overdoses in the state of Texas,” ATCEMS Captain Darren Noak said.
Hipolito said its new system will help law enforcement isolate particular areas where these overdoses are happening. He said that could possible lead to more arrests.
“That allows our detectives to get there pretty quickly and do a bunch of follow up and that leads us to the suspects,” Hipolito said.
Just last Friday, the sheriff’s office met with the DEA to go over its tracking program called the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.
Hipolita said the department will be looking at a few other software programs as well before deciding what is the best fit for the county.