New drug detection technology that works in seconds - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

New drug detection technology that works in seconds

TruNarc can scan narcotics and get a reading back within seconds. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) TruNarc can scan narcotics and get a reading back within seconds. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Sgt. Philip Hensley (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Sgt. Philip Hensley (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
TruNarc correctly identified the drug we provided during a test. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) TruNarc correctly identified the drug we provided during a test. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)

CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Indiana State Police now have another tool that will help fight the war on drugs. The device is called TruNarc and troopers have the ability to scan narcotics and get a reading back within seconds.

For an agency that covers major interstates like I-65 and I-64, Sgt. Philip Hensley said this product will be a great help in speeding up the process and medical response and most importantly getting illegal drugs out of the community.

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"This device will read up to 370 different types of drugs and it can do it instantaneously in a matter of one minute," Hensley said, "I can hold a drug up to this laser, it can scan and tell me what is in that packaging."

We tested it out by doing a quick scan of a white pill. In less than 30 seconds, the device revealed exactly what it was.

"That fast and I knew that pill was identified as acetaminophen," Hensley said.

In this reading, troopers would be able to tell they are dealing with an over the counter medication. 

Hensley said think back to August and what an asset this would have been when police responded to 14 heroin overdoses across two counties.

"In the case with Seymour, it was laced with carfentanil, this will tell you that - fentanyl, carfentanil," Hensley said. "It will allow our officers to know what they are handling and what the people we are dealing with have already taken."

Indiana State Police have purchased five TruNarc analyzers, each costing more than $21,000. But in terms of time, Hensley said there's no comparison.

"The old fashion way, we'll collect the evidence try to do a field test with a little kit, send it off to the lab and it takes weeks to be processed," Hensley said.

Eleven states and their court systems are already using the technology.

"We're hoping Indiana adopts similar measures to allow this reading to be admissible in court as evidence," Hensley said.

ISP used a federal grant to pay for the devices. They want to soon add at least five to seven more with the hope that one day all troopers will have one.

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