Two 24th District officers had just been trained in the administration of a nasal spray medication known as Naloxone when they caught their first overdose.
"We were actually coming back from the training and had just received the Narcan when we were flagged down by pedestrians for a female in a parking lot who was not breathing," Officer John Todt said of the incident involving a female near the Aramingo Avenue mall.
The coincidence was striking to Todt and partner Officer Edward Troy.
"We just said the same thing -- 'Is this really happening?'" Todt said.
After a dose of the medicine -- known generically as Narcan -- the woman was still unconscious and they drove her to a hospital, but she came to before they arrived, Todt said.
"She just looked at me, asked where she was," Todt said. "She said 'Thank you.' She was really appreciative.'"
Todt and Troy are two of the 104 officers who have been trained in the use of Naloxone since Jan. 27.
According to 25th District Officer Moses Velez, who has already used the spray to save two people who had overdosed -- one on Tuesday -- Naloxone takes three to seven minutes to awake an overdose.
"It felt good to be able to help him prior to rescue [paramedics] getting there," Velez said of male he discovered overdosed on the railroad tracks near Lawrence and Fairfield, an area frequented by drug-users.
Since Jan. 27, spray-equipped officers have found five overdoses and revived them, said Deputy Commissioner Christine Coulter said at a press conference Thursday to announce results of the new spray's implementation.
"Hopefully it will give them one more chance to change their path, and we can give them back to their families," Coulter said.