Police using new drug testing tool in Glens Falls

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new policing tool can test for drugs in a person’s system right at the scene of the crime.

Right now it’s only being used in New York City and one other place right here in the Capital Region.

“It only takes four minutes and test for seven different types of drugs,” Police Chief Tony Lydon said. “That’s what this device is all about and the Glens Falls Police Department is the first upstate to use it.”

Chief Lydon says the department has had the Drager Drug Test 5000 for a month is the only force in the Capital Region to have one.

The machine tests for seven types of drugs like cocaine, opioids, benzos, marijuana, and methamphetamines. It only takes four minutes to come back with a result.

“You’ll open up the instrument. You’ll slide the device in. You’ll place the cap,” Lydon said. “This will only give an officer the positive or negative results for a substance currently in their body.”

The Drug Test 5000 will only be used once an officer has made their observations and run a field sobriety test.

“It’s important that everybody under stands how to use it but also where to use it in the process.”

Lydon says he first heard about the device at a conference in the fall.

“As soon as they mentioned it, it was one of those things that just stuck in my head.”

He did some research on it and decided it was something that could make his community safer.

“You know get those people that are harm to themselves and the general public off the street.”

Traffic safety has always been a top priority for Lydon. That’s evident by the honors in his office and says impaired driving goes beyond illegal drugs.

“They automatically assume that because a doctor prescribed that to them that they’re not at risk or that they’re not placing anybody else at risk when actually they are.”

He’s already had an interest in the device from other nearby forces.

“I won’t say that it’s satisfying but at least it allows us to know that we’re heading in the right direction.”

He’s already talked with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department about sharing the machine with them.

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