The London Police Association is worried what happens after an officer deals with an overdose victim.
Earlier this month, the province announced naloxone kits will be given to police and firefighters to combat the opioid crisis.
” I agree it’s necessary to carry the kits given the level of the crisis,” said executive director for the London Police Association, Rick Robson.
“The SIU has determined that they will investigate the use of naloxone in police officers when it results in death, so the reality is that we are going to see more investigations of police officers who are doing the job their compelled to do,” he said.
The province’s Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency. According to its website, “It conducts investigations of incidents involving the police that have resulted in death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.”
Under the provinces current plan, both firefighters and paramedics will carry kits in addition to police officers.
“Out of those three groups, only police will be subject to prosecution and investigation by the SIU should they actually administer naloxone,” said Robson.
In addition, Naloxone kits are available to citizens to buy and administer to those in need.
“Under the good Samaritan Act, citizens aren’t subject to investigation. If you add in the fact that firefighters and paramedics can administrate naloxone without the fear of prosecution, then it’s clear to me this decision wasn’t made with common sense in mind,” said Robson.
Robson says he sees the value in kits being distributed in the short term, but feels the government should invest elsewhere to fix a broken healthcare system.
“We see it time and time again, there’s been stories of people who go to emergency in seek of treatment but don’t receive any. That’s because the infrastructure is not up to par to properly treat that issue.”