News Releases

    Rutledge Hosts Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution Training

    January 23, 2019

    More than 300 attend

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today partnered with the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute to host the Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution training. More than 300 law enforcement officers, coroners and prosecutors attended.

    “We are losing too many of our friends and loved ones to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is imperative those on the front lines know how to address and examine the information at the scene. While the number of overdose deaths is absolutely heartbreaking, I fear the numbers are even greater as people may be unaware of the tell-tale signs of heroin and fentanyl deaths.”

    The training covered drug overdose death investigation techniques, discussed legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations. The training also addressed drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl and highlighted proper evidence handling and protocols.

    The purpose of the training was to change the mindset from accident to homicide in responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths, including what evidence to look for, documenting the death scene, electronic evidence, witness and suspect interview techniques, search and seizure issues, legal theory and case development, intelligence gathering and sharing, officer safety with dealing with drugs like fentanyl, and case analysis.

    Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combatting the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 12,000 students. In November, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provided training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

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