WINNIPEG – Three people have died of drug overdoses in the last week, and police suspect fentanyl is to blame.
As a way to combat this trend, the Winnipeg Police Service hopes to equip their members with the antidote naloxone in the coming months.
“We’re certainly working with health officials and justice officials to make that happen as quickly as we can,” explains Deputy Chief Danny Smyth. “We are hoping to have something worked out within 1-2 months. There are a lot of logistical things to work out.”
Smyth points out that another hurdle to clear is the fact that naloxone is not effective below freezing, an obvious problem in a place like Winnipeg. It’s also important to note that paramedics are equipped with the antidote.
Another way to fight the increase in fentanyl use is to educate kids on the dangers.
“That’s about getting ahead of the curve with children so they’re aware, particularly as we start to see instances where things like fentanyl are being laced with drugs. The dangers around this are significant and I think it will be a multi-pronged approach for sure.”
Intersection Speeding Tickets, Red Light Tickets On The Rise
It’s a trend that police can’t put their finger on: a spike in speeding tickets at established intersections.
In August of this year, 4,218 tickets were given out, compared to 3,289 last year. Red light tickets also rose, from 779 last year to 962 this year.
“Those are in established intersections were traffic cameras have been in place for some time,” police board chair Scott Gillingham says. “What we don’t know is whether that’s reflective of an increase in traffic volume on those routes. Is there just more traffic flowing so statistically the probability is higher that individuals are speeding? Regardless, it’s a public safety issue.”
The jump in tickets also left Deputy Chief Smyth scratching his head.
“We don’t really have an explanation for that. Our cameras are fixed, they haven’t changed, the same signs are there. We don’t know if this is an anomaly or not.”
Smyth says they are working with MPI right now, studying major intersections to look at the effectiveness of signage and increased police presence has on speeding.
Other Notes From Police Board Meeting
-Police pursuits jumped from 42 to 73 in 2015, mostly attributed to a rise in stolen cars. 70 per cent of the pursuits lasted less than three minutes. Smyth says the stolen vehicle numbers are tracking lower for 2016.
-Gillingham says the search for the next police chief is on track to be done by the deadline of November 4. He wouldn’t elaborate on the number of candidates or share if the potential hire will be internal or external.
-There is a time capsule in the old Public Safety Building that will be opened once the building is presumably demolished. It was put there in the 60’s.
-The school resource officer program will be extended to Louis Riel School Division. One officer each will attend Glenlawn and Windsor Park Collegiates.