FWPD using state-of-the-art technology to test and ID drugs

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Police are using a device that can test and identify drugs instantly.

Police said it’s becoming something they use regularly.

“A dozen times a day,” Fort Wayne Police Sergeant Jonathan Bowers said. “Maybe more.”

It’s giving them access to drugs in Fort Wayne like they’ve never had before.

“What’s being shipped in, what’s being sold, what’s being bought, what’s being seized and what people are addicted to right now,” Bowers said.

It’s called TruNarc and it uses state-of-the-art technology to test drugs on the spot. It uses laser technology to identify what substances are in the drug. It can identify nearly every drug except marijuana. In most cases results are immediate. Bowers said if it can’t get a clear read the lab can get them results within an hour or two. Police call it a game changer.

“For us we need to know day-to-day what we’re actually buying and seizing, so to have good quality lab results either immediately or within an hour or two totally changes the game for us. We see trends like explosion in Fentanyl or less Fentanyl and more Heroin or different cuts or all sorts of things that we just didn’t have before,” Bowers said.

Police said it works better than the old reagent kits they used to use and is much quicker than sending samples off to the overwhelmed State Police lab. Most of all, it’s helping police understand just how bad the opioid problem is in the Summit City.

“Really the opioid crisis is more than just what court cases are getting filed or not getting filed right now, so this really gives us a much broader picture of what is important right now,” Bowers said.

The Fort Wayne Police Department was the first to buy one of the devices in Indiana. Since then, State Police and other agencies like the DEA have also gotten the device.

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