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Aylmer police are the first police service in Elgin County and St. Thomas to provide naloxone kits for each officer.
Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and is available in a nasal spray.
Aylmer Police have a naloxone policy that was instituted at the end of June, which means that subsequent to official training all front-line officers will be equipped with naloxone nasal spray.
Police Chief Andre Reymer said originally the naloxone was meant as a first-aid method for his officers given the increase in opioid use in the community.
“When we’re handling people or property there’s a distinct risk for contamination. Its first and foremost use is for our own staff,” Reymer said.
If one of Aylmer’s officers were to come across someone in opioid-induced distress with no EMS available, then the officers would use it on that member of the public, Reymer said.
Sergeant Dave Rektor with the OPP said the process of getting naloxone kits to the service’s officers is ongoing. He said they’re well into the training aspect of the providing the kits to the officers.
“Once we have the kits procured then we’ll certainly distribute them to the front-line members,” Rektor said.
Rektor said he’s hopeful that the kits will be out to officers sooner rather than later but said he doesn’t have a specific timeline of when officers will get their hands on the kits.
“We’re just waiting to make sure we have the resources in place and then we’ll distribute them,” Rektor said.
When the procurement of the kits does come through Rektor said each officer will be given a kit with two doses of the naloxone nasal spray.
“We’ll certainly be able to use that in situations where it’s warranted where we can hopefully save some lives,” Rektor said.
Officers who use naloxone spray on members of the public could be subject to a Special Investigations Unit investigation, but Rektor said that’s not a concern for the OPP.
“This is something that’s been approved for use by front-line members and our emphasis will be on saving people’s lives,” Rektor said.
The St. Thomas Police Service does not have naloxone kits for each officer, but do have kits at the station and at the court house. Constable Chris Bailey said the St. Thomas officers have had the training to use the naloxone.
West Elgin, Southwold, Bayham, Aylmer and St. Thomas fire services do not have naloxone kits for their firefighters.
London News & Search