Handheld Device TruNarc Debuts in Redmond PD for Quick, Efficient Narcotics Detection


Key Takeaways:
– The Redmond Police Department is employing TruNarc, a handheld, narcotics analyzer.
– TruNarc can identify more than 530 controlled substances including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin.
– Raman spectroscopy is the underlying technology aiding quick identification without disturbing the packaging.
– Funds from the state’s opioid companies’ settlement covered the $31,000 cost for TruNarc.
– TruNarc is currently used by 46 agencies in the state.

In a quest to combat the increased illicit drug issues, the Redmond Police Department in Washington State is scaling up its game. The department recently unveiled that it is leveraging the application of a handheld narcotics scanner named TruNarc.

Rapid Narcotics Detection

The device offers quick identification of more than 530 controlled substances. Renowned drug categories such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin fall within its scope. TruNarc boasts efficiency in the field as it can scan through transparent packaging while keeping the evidence intact and uncontaminated.

Technological Capacity of TruNarc

The technological miracle allows for this is Raman spectroscopy. In this process, a laser light beam interacts with the chemical bonds of the targeted material. This interaction thereby revealing the substance’s chemical composition. In addition to on-site scanning ability, TruNarc provides valuable scan results including time and date stamps. There is also an allowance for updates to identify rising drug threats.

Budget and Production

The Redmond PD purchased the system with a $31,000 fund provided by Washington state. The fund forms part of the settlement from three companies implicated in fuelling the opioid epidemic. TruNarc, first brought to light in 2012, is produced by Thermo Scientific, a company based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Steady Adoption by Authorities

The Redmond Police department is among 46 agencies in the state that have adapted the use of the device. Among others, the Shoreline Police Department put the technology into operation last year. Meanwhile, the Snohomish County agencies widened its access to the TruNarc in 2019.

With the ongoing fentanyl crisis in the U.S., many law enforcement authorities are proactive in seeking detection and control solutions. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland received recognition at the 2020 GeekWire Awards for their VaporID technology. Like TruNarc, VaporID has demonstrated promptness and effectiveness in identifying drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine.

Limitations and Guidelines

However, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime issued guidelines for handheld Raman spectrometers. They cautioned that the devices should only be utilized as preliminary screening tools as they can’t analyze dark-colored or fluorescent drugs.

In the broader scope of implementing technologies for safety, Seattle is exploring various detection systems for concealed weapons and gunshots. Bellevue-based Lassen Peak, which raises funds for a device enabling safe pat-down searches, and the City of Seattle’s considered gunfire detection system, highlight this endeavor.

In conclusion, innovations like TruNarc are revolutionizing the fight against the illicit drug menace. By aiding the immediate identification of suspected drugs, they expedite law enforcement response and improve overall safety.

Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Brownehttps://livy.ai
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

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