TAVARES, Fla. - A Florida police officer is recovering after possibly being exposed to fentanyl which is said to have occurred during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning, according to the Tavares Police Department.
After pulling over a vehicle just after midnight, Officer Courtney Bannick said she discovered narcotics on a passenger inside the vehicle. Shortly after the passenger was taken into custody to be transported to the Lake County Jail, Bannick began to experience difficulty breathing, according to the police department.
Another officer who was on the scene went to check on Bannick and saw that she was drifting in and out of consciousness and required medical attention. That officer, with the assistance of another Tavares police officer and an Astatula police officer, removed Bannick from her vehicle and quickly administered Narcan, a medication used in emergency opiate overdoses. The entire incident was recorded on cameras worn by the attending police officers.
"She was completely lifeless. She looks deceased in these videos," said Tavares Police Det. Courtney Sullivan, "so she’s very thankful today."
Bannick was transported to the hospital where she is expected to make a full recovery.
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According to the police department, Bannick was wearing gloves during the traffic stop and practiced safe handling.
"I have done this one-hundred times before the same way. It only takes one time and a minimal amount," Officer Bannick explained. "I’m thankful I wasn’t alone and had immediate help."
In the statement, the Tavares Police Department recognized the continuous training and quick response of the other police officers who were present.
"If the other officers weren’t there, there’s a very chance and probability that today would be different," Det. Sullivan added, "and that we would be wearing our thin blue line – the straps that go over our badges."
The individuals who were stopped by Officer Bannick are facing possible felony charges. Their names will not be released unless they are formally charged, the police department said.