Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jun 2006
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Canoe Inc
Author: Rwin Loy, 24 Hours


Police Board Decision

In a bid to reduce overdose deaths, Vancouver police will no longer 
attend drug overdose incidents with paramedics.

Drug users will not have to fear arrest if they are in trouble, say 
police, although officers will still accompany paramedics to 
"suspicious" incidents.

The idea is to encourage drug users to act quickly to get help if 
they overdose.

The policy is based on research from Australia that showed drug 
overdose deaths decrease when police stop laying charges for drug use.

The department has used this as an interim overdose policy for the 
past two years, but made it official at its police board meeting 
yesterday afternoon.


In the wake of the recent arrests for alleged terror plots in 
Ontario, VPD Chief Jamie Graham is reiterating the need to beef up 
the counter-terrorism unit here in Vancouver.

"If there's ever another threat, there's a strong likelihood it's 
going to happen at one of the three major [Canadian urban] centres," 
Graham told the police board yesterday. "We want to make sure the 
people of Vancouver are protected, whatever the cost is."

The VPD's current counter-terrorism unit now has four officers. 
Graham said its future role be one of "intelligence gathering."
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