VALPARAISO — The Porter County Sheriff's Department will have another tool in its belt to fight opioid addiction, thanks to a recently received grant.

The Porter County Substance Abuse Council recently presented the department a grant in the amount of $20,700 for the purchase of a hand-held narcotics analyzer, TruNarc.

Porter County has seen an increase of opioid overdoses in the last year with the newest wave of concern being the introduction of Fentanyl, according to a news release from the council.

"The fact that heroin, meth, cocaine and marijuana are now being found cut with Fentanyl, makes contact with the substances a growing concern for law enforcement officers and first responders," according to the release.

Using TruNarc, officers will be able to test unknown substances through packaging, which will limit the exposure to all first responders, suspects and the citizens on scene.

As part of the grant, all police agencies within Porter County will send an officer to training so the instrument can be used by everyone. 

"We are honored and grateful to be awarded the funding to move forward on the purchase of TruNarc. With this hand-held instrument we can, not only continue our fight against substance abuse in Porter County, but we can make sure our officers and first responders stay safe while doing it," Sheriff Dave Reynolds said.