Police, City of Regina will prepare a report on decriminalizing simple drug possession

The sign in front of Regina Police Headquarters is pictured in this file photo. (Brendan Ellis/CTV News)

The Regina Police Service and the City of Regina will create a report assessing the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs.

Councillor Andrew Stevens and commissioner Juliet Bushi put forth the motion for the report during the monthly Board of Police Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday.

Indigenous community organizations, harm reduction services and their clients will be involved in the report, Stevens said.

If the motion is passed, Regina would apply through the federal government for localized decriminalization and work closely with the City of Saskatoon where a similar motion was passed.

Stevens and Bushi asked the report include the feasibility and implications of providing a safe drug supply to address the growing number of overdoses in the city.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said it's not often that simple possession charges are laid, and is not sure it would be cost-saving for the police service. He said police laid 393 simple possession charges in 2020, and 172 so far this year.

“But if you can help people, and keep them from becoming vulnerable to crime, the cost savings are exponential,” Bray said.

A review of the cost-benefit analysis will be included in the report, Bray said.

The report will be considered at a board meeting in the first quarter of 2022.