12 fentanyl deaths: Not yet a crisis but Coderre eyes rule changes for police
Published Tuesday, September 5, 2017 10:07PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 6, 2017 8:36AM EDT
The City of Montreal took baby steps on Tuesday towards equipping its police officers, fire fighters and first responders with Naloxone, a drug used to counteract fentanyl overdoses.
Mayor Denis Coderre met with senior leaders of the SPVM and other services and said that while the situation surrounding fentanyl is not yet a crisis, he anticipates it could become one.
“We have to talk about where we need some more tools,” he said. “I was reassured about the status of the situation right now, but clearly it’s an anticipated crisis we need to address and face.”
In August, 12 people fatally overdosed on fentanyl in Montreal. The drug is an opioid that’s 40 times more potent than heroin.
Several Canadian cities have begun equipping police officers with Naloxone but Coderre said in order to do so in Montreal, regulations concerning police duties must be changed.
“We need to have a change of rules and it’s important because of the kind of institution (the police are),” said Coderre. “Eventually, we can talk about a pilot project.”
SPVM chief Philippe Pichet said while he’s open to a pilot project, his priority is “to stop the vendors, the distributors.”
“If we can help, we will,” he said. “But I think we should put our effort to stop the people who are selling that stuff.”
The meeting came just days after a massive raid ended with the arrest of 10 people allegedly involved in two fentanyl and heroin trafficking networks.