The police chief in Regina says a policy shift is coming that will see more officers carrying the life-saving antidote naloxone.
Evan Bray says all front-line officers are to be equipped next year with the medication, which can reverse or block the effects of an opioid overdose.
Chief Bray says the force initially provided Narcan, the nasal spray version of naloxone, to people in certain positions such as supervisors, school resource officers and workers in detention areas.
Many police agencies across Canada, including the Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatchewan RCMP, already supply street officers with naloxone or Narcan.
Chief Bray says Regina police have administered naloxone about six times so far this year.
In one case, a school resource officer was on her lunch break and received a call that someone about three blocks away needed naloxone.
“She was the first one there and it worked,” Chief Bray said in an interview.
“That was a bit of a defining moment in my head.”
A woman whose son died from a fentanyl overdose asked the Regina Board of Police Commissioners earlier this year to equip all front-line officers with naloxone.
There is likely to be a cost to expanding the program, Chief Bray said, but “we’re in the business of saving lives.”
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