The Edgartown police department is among 11 Massachusetts police forces chosen to take part in a pilot project making fentanyl testing strips available to members of the community at risk of fatal overdoses from tainted opiates.

More than 50 times as powerful as heroin, fentanyl was implicated in 93 per cent of more than 2,000 overdose fatalities across the state last year, according to an announcement from the Boston-based Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, which is partnering with the police departments to distribute fentanyl test strip kits locally.

The goal is to save lives, develop trust and build relationships with community members who are struggling with opiate use, according to the announcement. The 11 police departments were trained March 27 and received their kits this week.