The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service supports harm reduction, education, rehabilitation and recovery as methods of relief from the ongoing opioid crisis. Our northern communities have not been immune to the poisonings and tainted drug supply robbing life from people we love.
“As a Police Service we have seen first hand that decriminalization of simple possession and arrests will not save us from the crisis we’ve found ourselves in,” said Chief Hugh Stevenson. “We must rally as a community, as people of Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Township, to show empathy to our fellow citizens and help pick them up during their time of need.”
Addiction is an illness. We have learned throughout the COVID pandemic, when we commit to halting the spread of an illness, we can.
Harm reduction and safe consumption sites are methods to stop the spread of this illness. To those who are not afflicted with the illness of drug dependency, the idea seems foreign and extreme. It is important for you to know, accredited and approved safe consumption sites are not sources of narcotics. Trained health care professionals are on site to provide clean supplies, prevent overdose deaths from occurring and to connect addicts with the supports they need to beat their addiction. This is a public health crisis and public health experts are advocating for this approach in our communities.
“The road to developing these measures is long and requires many steps of approval from government health agencies,” adds Chief Stevenson. “I, along with the Canadian Association and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, support decriminalization along with the development of public health measures to save our neighbours, friends and children and loved ones from losing their lives to a drug poisoning.”
Policing is only a piece of ridding our communities of this toxic, life-stealing crisis. We, as your Police Service remain steadfast to protecting the people we serve and helping those in crisis access the care they need to heal.