City Council to discuss "Good Samaritan Law"

10 months 1 week 6 days ago Monday, October 03 2016 Oct 3, 2016 Monday, October 03, 2016 11:21:00 AM CDT October 03, 2016 in News
By: Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council will take a look at a possible "Good Samaritan" law that could help stop drug and alcohol overdoses. At its meeting on Monday evening, the council will discuss whether this law is something Columbia should adopt.

The council will hear a report about a law St. Louis enacted in June and the framework for how it could be established in Columbia. The good Samaritan law would provide immunity to those seeking medical attention in the case of drug overdose. Those who call 9-1-1 for medical attention in the case of an overdose would not be arrested, charged, prosecuted or convicted. That also applies to the person experiencing the overdose.

According to the report, St. Louis's version of the law is still "tough on drug dealers, offering no protection for those with weapons or large quantities of drugs, as well as those operating known drug houses." 

Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp introduced the report to city council in July. He said opioids have been a problem in Columbia ever since he's been on the council.

"The situation that we have right now is 'if I report this medical emergency, I might get in trouble for doing something illegal.' We want to take away that risk and protect people for being a good Samaritan," Trapp said. 

Trapp believes drug disorders affect everyone in society and the good Samaritan law would benefit the entire Columbia community.

"I think it's going to protect people that we all know, our cousins and our friends and our neighbors who are caught in a bad situation," Trapp said. "It's going to help with getting medical resources instead of trying to arrest our way out of a medical and social problem."

According to the St. Louis ordinance of the Good Samaritan Law, drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. 

Columbia resident Mark Flakne is no stranger to deaths by drug overdose. His family and several of his friends have been affected by drug overdoses. One of his friends overdosed on drugs in Columbia and passed away recently after people with him did not call the police when medical attention was needed.

"I never thought in a million years I would know someone who died from a drug overdose, and now I know two young people," Flakne said.

Flakne sent Trapp an email saying why he believed Columbia should adopt a good Samaritan law. Flakne said he's aware some people might fear this ordinance would give people in the drug system a free pass.

"In an overdose situation, minutes count and someone hesitating for fear of prosecution, that can cost someone's life. So I think it's important to remember this ordinance is not about legalization or decriminalization, it's about temporary immunity that can save lives," Flakne said.

The City Council Memo for the discussion includes a recommendation from the Columbia Police Department that there be two changes from the St. Louis ordinance. Those include immunity for alcohol overdose and minor in possession of alcohol. CPD also recommends the Columbia law also not provide immunity for drug distribution.

KOMU 8 News reached out to CPD for further comment. They said they don't discuss upcoming proposed ordinances.

Trapp said he believes they are all on the same page.

"There's a consensus amongst the police and city staff and members of city council I've talked to, that we need to do something with good Samaritan law. We just need to have a robust public discussion about the details," Trapp said.

More News

Grid
List
SEDALIA - The total solar eclipse will attract huge crowds to mid-Missouri, but the last time there was a massive... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:35:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police released the results of an autopsy investigation following the death of a 4-year-old boy in May, ruling... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 4:15:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Local healthcare providers and state representatives met at a town hall Wednesday to discuss fallout from Gov. Eric... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:58:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Ameren Missouri looked to educate the Columbia Fire Department about natural gas and how to find signs of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday a Columbia man pleaded guilty for his role in a plan to smuggle... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:10:40 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several of Missouri's legislators responded Wednesday to the violence from Charlottesville over the weekend. KOMU 8 News... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:24:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager will soon limit the number and strength of opioid... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:15:51 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
LADDONIA - Water issues have recently erupted for the around 500 residents of the small town of Laddonia in... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:01:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A black firefighters organization has settled its 2015 lawsuit against the city of St. Louis over... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:06:55 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Public Service Commission denied grant approval of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line that would... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:35:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Policies for prep sports in Missouri are among the safest in the country, according to a new report... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:05:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in Continuous News
CREVE COEUR (AP) — With his suburban St. Louis meeting with the Israeli ambassador as a backdrop, Missouri's first Jewish... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
FULTON - The President of William Woods University announced Wednesday that the university's main campus in Fulton will be closed... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:40:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in Eclipse Impact
COLUMBIA - Police officers responded to a report of a shooting on Greensboro Drive around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officers... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:18:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA — Two organizations will host a town hall on Wednesday to discuss the impacts of Gov. Eric Greitens' veto... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:10:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt says he's backing fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley to run... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been arrested on charges of embezzling more than $2 million while... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:25:45 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Chicago podiatrist has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison and ordered to... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:23:45 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
9pm 71°
10pm 72°
11pm 71°
12am 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Marlon
8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld