Windsor police detention unit to get naloxone
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor police are working on getting naloxone for the detention unit.
At the police service’s board meeting on Thursday, Chief Pam Mizuno said they keep reassessing the need for the potentially life-saving medication in overdose situations.
“The WPS has made the decision that in the near future, no set timeline as of yet, but we are working actively to make Naloxone available in the detention unit of the Windsor Police Service Headquarters,” said Mizuno.
Mizuno said they are also looking at other units.
“We are assessing needs in specific units. We will have more on that as we are working on a policy,” said Mizuno.
Shawn McCurdy with the Windsor Police Association says their position has always been that all front-line officers should be carrying it.
“It is a life-saving tool that we could utilize and it’s important to understand that it could also save an officer’s life if there was ever any cross-contamination,” said McCurdy.
At the meeting, board member Rino Bortolin asked if it would that be tied to geography.
“It would be tied more to assignment of the officers than geography,” responded Mizuno.
Officers in the detention areas and specifically prisoner detention within WPS are already approved to carry naloxone.
Bortolin says he expects to see other patrols across the force to be carrying it, with an announcement coming in a few weeks.
“It’s good news, obviously I’ve felt we should be carrying naloxone for some time, but I also think it’s critical for one main reason. We need to shift the conversation,” said Bortolin.
Bortolin said they need to start talking about real solutions to the problems and to really deal with the addictions and the issues in the community.
The Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy has issued an alert Thursday after an increase in drug-related overdoses.
The WECOSS says 11 opioid overdoses took place between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, eight of them involved fentanyl.
“Naloxone has always been a Band-aid, has always been something that was secondary was to deal with the acute need in an overdose situation,” added Bortolin. “But let’s start talking about why we’re having so many overdoses. Why is the prevalence of addiction so high in our community. What are we doing about it?”
Bortolin said they need to get money from the provincial government to actually address this issue.
“So I’m hoping this will lead to the next conversation and we will stop talking about Naloxone and officers carrying it and actually start talking about the issues of addiction in the community,” said Bortolin.
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens wants to make decisions based on data.
“Based on the facts in front of us, not on emotional decisions. And the fact is the chief is using data to make the decision based on the implementation of Naloxone in the cell block. It makes sense, I support her in that, and we’ll continue to evaluate. And we change when the facts change,” said Dilkens.
With files from CTV Windsor's Rich Garton.