MARCY, N.Y. – The Utica Fire Department was called to Marcy Correctional Facility twice on Monday, after two people in the building became sick.
The first was a civilian employee who felt ill after opening a letter sent to an inmate containing a white powder, which contained traces of fentanyl. Narcan had to be administered to that employee, who was then taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Later that same day, a correction officer began to feel sick while searching an inmate’s cell. First responders were called to the scene and the officer was sent to the hospital for further evaluation.
The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association is asking state leaders to give them tools to prevent contraband from making its way into the facilities.
"We need some safeguards here. We need a secure vendor program; we need mail scanners. There's no reason. If they don't want to give us mail scanners, there's no reason to have the original copies given to the inmate; they should photo copy it and give the inmate the photo copy of the mail and that will drastically end the drugs out back,” said Bryan Hluska, NYSCOPBA regional vice president.
Just last week, an officer at Mid-State Correctional Facility was also sent to the hospital after being exposed to drugs that were saturated on the pages of a letter sent to an inmate.