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Saturday June 3rd, 2017

Posted at 7:36am

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The OPP has announced that they will provide naloxone to all frontline officers and to those in designated specialized units.

Each frontline officer is being issued a kit with two doses of naloxone nasal spray while on duty, while members of selected specialized units, such as Drug Enforcement Units and Community Street Crime Units, will each be issued a personal kit.

The use of personal protective equipment will be mandatory while conducting suspected drug searches, seizures and/or sampling to help ensure the safety of OPP officers.

OPP say that their frontline officers will be required to wear protective equipment including a respiratory mask, safety glasses or goggles, nitrile gloves and long sleeve shirt or jacket.

According to the OPP, Health Canada testing determined fentanyl was present in 114 OPP seizures in 2016 from the mainly rural communities the OPP serves, demonstrating it is an emerging and ongoing concern in all parts of Ontario

Testing results for 2017 are not yet available but the number of seizures with fentanyl present appears to be similar to 2016 levels.

The primary purpose of the naloxone is for use if an officer is exposed, however, if there is a life-threatening situation and emergency medical services are not immediately available, officers will be trained to use it on a member of the public.

Officers will receive training on the use of naloxone, the protective equipment and new procedures on how to handle any suspected controlled substance over the summer.

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