Police Chief Advocates For Local Solution To Combat Opioid Crisis

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Windsor's police chief points out that Monday's decision by the province to put a pause on new overdose prevention sites is exactly why he doesn't support them.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says three sites were scheduled to open soon in Thunder Bay, St. Catherines and Toronto, but they are on hold as the province conducts a review of the sites and whether they actually work.

Speaking on AM800's The Lynn Martin Show, Chief Al Frederick says Windsor needs a "made-in-Windsor solution" that the community can control.

Frederick believes for the sites to work to help fight the opioid crisis, they need to be sustainable and local.

"My strategy to address opioid and overdoses and crime related to those issues, can't be tied to provincial funding because just like that, it can be overturned," he says.

The Aids Committee of Windsor and the Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre submitted a joint application to the province to have a site in Windsor.

Frederick says he was never a supporter of the overdose prevention sites, because he can't as his role as a police officer, turn a blind eye to criminal offences.

"I think any strategy that the police has, has to be independent, has to be a community approach but it also has to be something that I can sustain and so I was not a supporter of the overdose prevention sites."

Supporters argue safe drug consumption sites can help deal with the growing problem of opioid abuse and prevent overdose deaths.