KANKAKEE, Ill. – The Kankakee City Council has approved the hiring of a 10th Lieutenant within the Fire Department, funded by a nationwide opioid class action lawsuit settlement. This strategic move aims to combat the community’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
The new position, serving as a Community Risk Reduction Officer, will focus on increasing the availability and awareness of Narcan treatment, implementing best practices to reduce overdoses, and coordinating efforts among government and social service agencies. Chief Bryan LaRoche, Kankakee Firefighters Local 653, and Mayor Curtis collaborated to bring this innovative proposal to the Council.
The allocation of funds from the opioid lawsuit settlement demonstrates Kankakee’s commitment to addressing the devastating impact of opioid addiction. The hiring of a dedicated officer reflects the city’s proactive approach to providing resources and support in the fight against the crisis.
According to the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office, since 2020, over 150 people in Kankakee County have died of overdoses.
Alderman Dave Baron of Kankakee’s 2nd Ward expressed appreciation for the joint efforts of Chief LaRoche, Kankakee Firefighters Local 653, and Mayor Curtis. With approval secured, the recruitment process for the 10th Lieutenant position can now proceed.