WARWICK, RI — Warwick Police report the RI Department of Health’s testing reveals the substances on items removed from a homeless camp near Community College of Rhode Island Thursday, Nov. 2 as trace amounts of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
A Warwick Police officer and staff member were exposed to an unidentified toxic substance while checking on a person at the camp in a wooded area near Community College of Rhode Island that day, according to police reports.
In order to identify what substance was the cause of the exposure, several pieces of evidence were seized from the scene that day. These items were transferred to the care and custody of the RI Department of Health (RIDOH) for toxicology testing.
The testing results have been returned from RIDOH and a piece of tin foil that was handled by an officer tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. This item was small in scale and emphasizes the danger that extremely small samples of fentanyl and carfentanyl can present when being handled.
The Warwick Police Department is advising the public that the affected area where the exposure occurred has been cleaned up by Kent Hospital who owns the land where the encampment was located. There is no danger to the community from that encampment or wooded area.
Citizens and first responders are reminded to take due care when handling suspected controlled substances. As was the case in this incident, even a few grains of fentanyl or carfentanyl can be lethal.