OVPD adds training and K-9 officer to anti-heroin initiative


The Ocean View Police Department has been working on its own initiative to help combat the heroin problem that has been plaguing the town, state and country.

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Ocean View Police Officer Justin Hopkins and his K-9 partner, Hardy, practice bite work with Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Ocean View Police Officer Justin Hopkins and his K-9 partner, Hardy, practice bite work with Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw.“Part of our job is enforcement. We want to detect and deter the drug activity in our area,” said OVPD Chief Ken McLaughlin.

The department is now certified to carry and administer naloxone hydrochloride — more commonly known as Narcan — a nasal spray that counteracts the effects of an opiate overdose.

Additionally, Sgt. Sidney Ballentine has received advanced training through the State Office of Highway Safety to enhance his ability to detect those who have been driving under the influence of narcotics once they’ve been stopped.

“We have officers assigned to DEA task force for Sussex County,” added McLaughlin. “We’re working with them in the hopes to expand their presence in southeastern Sussex County. So far, we’ve had some successes there.”

The most recent action aiding their initiative was to add a narcotics K-9 team to the department, with Officer Justin Hopkins overseeing K-9 Officer Hardy.

“There is a drug dog in the area now,” said McLaughlin. “There should be a deterrent factor. People who may otherwise come through our community, and for those who do decide to come, we have a little better chance of detecting them.”

McLaughlin said he hopes to continue to work to eliminate the heroin problem in the town.