Windsor police chief still firmly against supervised injection sites, naloxone issue

As Windsor community leaders continue to call for concrete action to prevent opioid-related deaths, police chief Al Frederick stands firmly against supervised injection sites and officers carrying naloxone.

Community leaders and politicians say something must be done to prevent opioid-related deaths

Windsor police chief Al Frederick has not changed his mind on supervised injection sites. He still thinks they have no place in Windsor. (Tom Addison/CBC)

As the City of Windsor continues to struggle with an opioid crisis, community leaders, politicians and health officials have been calling for concrete action to prevent opioid-related deaths.

Two key suggestions are the implementation of supervised injection sites and for police officers to carry naloxone kits. 

But during a year-end interview with CBC News, police chief Al Frederick said — as he's stated before — he's not in favour of either.

"I am dead against it," he said, about having a supervised injection site in Windsor. He argued the sites could result in a host of public safety issues and that they could escalate crime rates.

"I can't compromise someone's public safety here in order to facilitate the illicit use of drugs over here."

Police Chief Al Frederick

3 years ago
Duration 3:39
During a year-end interview with CBC, Police Chief Al Frederick discusses supervised injection sites and whether or not police officers should carry naloxone. 3:39

Officers and naloxone

There have also been growing calls from politicians like Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky to equip police officers with naloxone, which can potentially reverse opioid overdoses. 

She has said the Windsor Police Service is the only force in the province not equipping officers with the antidote, despite a commitment from the provincial government to provide the kits free of charge. 

The number of opioid-related emergency department visits have gone up in Windsor-Essex. (Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion)

However, Frederick still doesn't believe having officers equipped with naloxone the right approach.

"I can tell you that our officers are not medical responders, he said.

"I believe strongly that officers carrying naloxone is not the best response for a person suffering from an overdose. That would be a medical responder."

With files from Arms Bumanlag