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Coffee Co. authorities on high alert for drug overdoses during Bonnaroo weekend

COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - “Hypervigilant” is how the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department says they are responding this year at Bonnaroo, with fear that fentanyl may show up at the music festival.  

Extra EMS staff, extra Narcan, and new measures are among the steps the department is taking to get ahead of the concern.  

The chief deputy tells News 2 all personnel is on duty for the weekend, including reserve officers.  

This year unlike years past, they will be helping search cars as they check in. 

He says they will all also be equipped with Narcan, saying they have 800 extra doses if needed.  

The Sheriff’s Department is also working to spread the word to festival goers to beware of tainted drugs, specifically pointing out their concern for marijuana laced with fentanyl.  

“Marijuana is kind of predominant, but we do see some heroin, some ecstasy and the thing about it is it can be a white substance and same with fentanyl so seeing that with what other departments have been coming across. Some of them have been coming across with straight fentanyl and so you don’t really know what you're getting. Sometimes it can be cut with it, but sometimes it can be the straight fentanyl and you know your first hit could be your last. It could be the one that gets ya,” Chief Deputy Frank Watkins told News 2.  

He says officers have been told to follow a new protocol this year and not touch any white powder.  

Watkins says they want to urge music fans to alert law enforcement if they need help, that they are there to keep everyone safe.  

He also says they have already issued several citations, mostly for marijuana. 

Bonnaroo officials say they are working with police to ensure safety is the top priority at this year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival. 


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