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Donation will help area police in drug fight

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Police in western Wisconsin have some new lab equipment available to help them in cases involving drugs or unusual substances.

Two ‘Pur-Air’ hoods have been purchased by the Western Wisconsin Healthcare Coalition and donated to law enforcement in La Crosse and Trempealeau Counties.

Bob Ritger of the coalition says the hood, like ones used in many science labs, will offer a safer way to test unknown substances.

Ritger said police in other communities could have used such a machine to avoid contact with harmful drugs.

“Actually, in another part of the state,” Ritger said, “an officer was doing some testing of some drugs and actually resulted in an overdose of the officer and his partner had to support him with Narcan. It is a real thing and it is happening.”

The hoods will be available to police in a seven county area.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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