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Update 9:20 p.m.:

Chilhowie Police Chief Stephen Price in an update to town council Thursday night said the officer exposed to narcotics Thursday afternoon had returned to the hospital Thursday evening for additional treatment.

Price said the officer had been preparing evidence to send to the state lab for testing when a bag broke and he was exposed to the powdered substance.

The officer later left for lunch but stopped at the fire department complaining of dizziness and other health issues. He was transported to the hospital.

After being released, he was at home and in talking to the chief said he was feeling better and expected to return to work tomorrow. Price said he told him to stay out as long as he needed to recover. Then Price heard that the officer began experiencing the same issues and was transported back to the hospital where he currently remains. Price is now waiting for word on the officer's condition.

"We are concerned about him," he said. 

After investigating the substance the VSP detetmined it to be narcotic. The substance has been returned it to CPD for transport to the lab.


Update: 4:39 P.M:

Virginia State Police have cleared Chilhowie's town hall and police department following an officer's exposure to an 'unknown' substance.

VSP Sgt. R. Hafley responded to CPD this afternoon after Chilhowie police reported that the officer had been exposed to a powder substance while processing it as evidence that had collected Wednesday evening.

Hafley said state police tested the substance to rule out the possibility of it being another dangerous substances such as anthrax. The sgt. said the powder tested positive as a narcotic, but he said he could not say what kind of narcotic. 

The officer was taken to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon to be assessed and has since been released.

The town hall, which was temporarily closed as a precaution, has been reopened.


Original Story:

Chilhowie's town hall, including it's police department are temporarily closed while Virginia State Police investigate an incident in which an officer was exposed to an unknown substance.

According to a release from the Town of Chilhowie, around noon on Thursday, a small amount of a substance confiscated the previous evening was released during processing.

Following protocol, the officer, who has not been identified, was transported to a local hospital for treatment. As a precaution, the town hall and police department are closed during the investigation.

State Police are currently on scene. Town Manager John Clark said he is unsure how long the offices will be closed. He said if the investigation continues into the evening, the scheduled town council meeting will be moved to the old high school building.

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