Kennett honors police officers

From left are Miguel Juarez at left, Kevin Urbany Chief Lydell Nolt.

Two Kennett Township police officers were recognized at the last Kennett Township supervisors’ meeting for “changing the course of people’s lives.”

Township Police Chief Lydell Nolt commended Officers Miguel Juarez and Kevin Urbany for their actions in two separate incidents that both involved narcotics – one in which a life was saved from overdose, and another in which a large amount of heroin and drug paraphernalia was seized before it reached the streets.

“Every once in a while there are significant events that change either the course of people’s lives or help promote the health and safety of the community to an extent that is outside the norm,” Nolt said at Wednesday’s supervisors’ meeting.

The two officers, he said, made a difference in the course of doing their jobs.

Saving a life

Nolt presented Juarez with a “life-saving award” for saving a 23-year-old man who had overdosed and was close to death.

It was the first time that Juarez, a Kennett Township police officer since April 2017, has saved the life of someone who overdosed, according to Nolt.

Juarez was dispatched in the morning of July 23 and arrived three minutes later to a house in the 200 block of Stewarts Lane, where he found a man “not breathing, no pulse, blue and cold, laying on the couch,” Nolt said.

Juarez started CPR and also gave the man three doses of naloxone, which is used to battle opioid overdoses and is part of the standard equipment in each township patrol car, according to Nolt. By the time ambulances from Kennett and Longwood fire companies arrived, the man had been revived and was ready to be taken to the hospital.

Officers like Juarez and other emergency personnel administered more than 500 doses of naloxone in 2018, according to the Chester County Overdose Prevention Task Force.

“Without the intervention of the officer and the administration of the naloxone, this individual would not survive the overdose,” Nolt said. “In this case there was an individual who is alive and well because of the actions taken by the officer. That is a huge investment to the health and safety of the community.”

Last year there were 111 accidental overdose deaths in Chester County and more than 4,400 in Pennsylvania, according to the Chester County Overdose Prevention Task Force and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Opioid Data Dashboard.

Stopping heroin

Officer Kevin Urbany, who has been on the force since February of 2018,  received a commendation for a traffic stop that ultimately prevented a 24-year-old man from distributing more than 100 bags of heroin, more than 100 needles, and other drug paraphernalia.

Urbany stopped a car about 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 3 near Old Kennett and Bayard roads for driving erratically, according to Nolt. The driver, from Newark, was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

“Officer Urbany, using his expertise and training, continued his investigation which resulted in a search warrant being executed on the vehicle,” Nolt said, adding that the search found “over 100 bags of heroin, over 100 bags of hypodermic needles, fentanyl test kits, and various other drug-related items.”

According to Nolt, the fentanyl test kits are believed to be used “to test the ‘heroin’ to see if it contained fentanyl. If it does, it increases the value and demand on the street for the product this person was selling.”

Heroin laced with fentanyl can be deadly, and its use has been on the rise over the last several years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The man will be charged possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Nolt.

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About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.

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