Kentwood police officers will begin carrying naloxone with them to fight what the chief said is a growing opioid overdose crisis in the Tangipahoa Parish city.

The medication, given to the Kentwood Police Department as part of a legal settlement between the state Attorney General’s Office and Pfizer, counteracts the effects of opioids to restore breathing during an overdose.

“As a nationally recognized EMT, I realize the importance of early intervention when combating this epidemic,” Kentwood Police Chief Michael Kazerooni Sr. said.

Kazerooni said Louisiana is among the top 10 states for drug overdoses, with about 780 people dying from overdoses every year.

Naloxone has a shelf life of up to two years, and there is no limit on how much of the medicine the Kentwood Police Department may request through the AG’s program.