2 St. Paul police officers treated for fentanyl exposure; police HQ partially evacuated

Two officers with the St. Paul Police Department required medical treatment after they were apparently exposed to fentanyl while conducting narcotics testing at the agency’s headquarters in downtown St. Paul Monday morning, the police department said in a news release. 

The officers, one of whom is a sergeant, were conducting routine tests in the agency’s property room when they both suffered a "medical emergency," — one of the officers administered Narcan on himself and other employees provided aid and called for paramedics, according to a statement from SPPD Public Information Officer Steve Linders. 

The officers were taken via ambulance to Regions Hospital, where they were treated and released. 

At the headquarters, police evacuated the first floor and the basement while the St. Paul Fire Department hazmat experts assed the building’s air quality, Linders said. As a precaution, the building's heating and air system was shut down and staff on floors two through six were instructed to remain in place.

Authorities took about an hour to determine the air was not contaminated before police reopened the headquarters, according to Linders. 

The police department is working to determine exactly what led to the incident.

Studies have found there is a lot of misinformation that causes panic when there is environmental exposure or skin exposure to fentanyl. This is despite there being a clear consensus from medical experts that overdosing from incidental skin contact is a medical impossibility.