TAMAQUA, Pa. -- On International Overdose Awareness Day, one organization's mission was to give police officers the ability to help those who have overdosed in Schuylkill County.
Safer Streets for Tamaqua's Little Feet presented officers with a life-saving measure.
For Adam Cruz, handing a police officer a box of naloxone is a moment he won't forget. Now in recovery, the Tamaqua native was able to give officers a new tool to battle overdoses.
He spoke with Newswatch 16 at a ceremony in Tamaqua on Saturday.
"Just handing something to the police because I haven't given them nothing but a hard time, but to do something that is going to be able to save other people and help, it is an amazing feeling," said Adam Cruz of Quakertown.
Through grants, Safer Streets for Tamaqua's Little Feet, a nonprofit organization, gave 40 boxes of naloxone to Tamaqua's police department.
Tammy Sienkiewicz of Tamaqua organized this donation to honor her daughter Alexandria, who passed away from an overdose three years ago.
"When I found my daughter unresponsive, my son called 911. First on the scene was Tamaqua Ambulance. I said, 'Do you carry naloxone?' They said no. Next, I opened the door for Tamaqua Police Department, in tears of course. 'Do you have naloxone? Please tell me you have naloxone.' They said no," Sienkiewicz recalled.
She tells Newswatch 16 her family had to wait 10 minutes for another ambulance company to show up.
"What this means is that no other parent or loved one in Tamaqua is going to hear, 'No, we don't have naloxone.' They are gonna hear, 'Yes, we do."
"Well, it is great to have another tool that we can use in helping to save someone's life sooner," said Cpl. Michael Hobbs, Tamaqua Police Department.
Cruz says everyone deserves a second chance.
"We are not just junkies and bad people. We are talented individuals. We are smart and intelligent, so I think this is a great thing for this area," Cruz added.