Cop under investigation over alleged heroin use

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 21:14:13-05

It was inside a home along a stretch of Dorrance Avenue in South Buffalo where reports claim an off-duty Buffalo police officer overdosed on heroin.

According to the Buffalo News, the officer had been at a friend’s house early Friday morning when he overdosed. He was given two doses of Narcan by first responders and survived.

“Things occur and when things occur in city government, they're addressed immediately and the proper steps and actions are taken,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president said he was unaware of the allegations contained in the report, nor had he talked to the officer. Kevin Kennedy said officers haven't been given drug tests for more than two years because of a lapsed contract with a doctor.

According to Brown, the new contract is expected to be settled by April or May. However, he said routine drug tests probably wouldn't have prevented the internal investigation launched in the wake of this reported incident.

“Things happen all the time,” Brown said. “There are always issues that have to be addressed. We encourage our employees to engage in behavior that is in keeping with their contract responsibilities. But, I don't think that would have had any impact.”

Brown wouldn't talk about potential disciplinary action in this case. So we asked him how he deals with employees who have a substance abuse problem.

“It might not be immediate termination. The employee would have the ability to indicate that they have a medical issue, go into an employee assistance program and get assistance.”

So it's possible the officer may not be terminated pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Certainly, any person who is dealing with a substance abuse issue in my estimation should not be stigmatized and should be encouraged to get the help that he or she needs.”

It's unclear how long the investigation could take.