The legalization of cannabis and the challenge of detecting drivers
who are high on Ontario roads once the drug is legalized on Canada Day
next year is one of the many community safety subjects being discussed
at the Ontario Chiefs of Police board of directors meeting at the Four
Points by Sheraton in Kingston on Monday and Tuesday.
Some of the other items being discussed by the 18-member board include
public policy changes in Ontario, the future of policing, new
legislation on the Safer Strategy for Ontario, and further investment
in the Ontario Police College.
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Local agencies supporting those suffering from the opioid crisis used
International Overdose Day on Thursday as an opportunity to bring
attention to the issue.
The opioid crisis is no longer an issue just for large cities. The
Kingston area, as well as some villages north of the city, have
overdose numbers that are aso concerning.
For example, Overdose Day was marked in Sharbot Lake as well as
On Thursday morning, the Kingston Community Health Centres' Street
Health Centre held a news conference to mark the occasion.
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Bob Finucan, Ontario regional president of the Union of Canadian
Correctional Officers based in Kingston, said correctional service
officers have been exposed to the dangerous drug fentanyl inside
Correctional Service Canada institutions in Ontario twice in the past
two months, including at Collins Bay Institution, but that there have
been no reported overdoses or injuries from the exposures.
After hearing reports of federal correctional officers in Alberta
being exposed to the deadly drug on three occasions in the past month,
Finucan agreed that if it can happen in Alberta, it can happen in this
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The leader of an advocacy group supporting family members of inmates
in federal institutions says something needs to be done to correct
the high numbers of false positives for drug residue picked up on ion
mobility spectrometry (IMS) devices, or ion scanners.
These false positives have resulted in visits by family members being
rejected or changed to a higher security setting.
"Once your son, daughter or husband is involved in the justice
system, you're just thrown for a loop," Anne Cattral of Ottawa of
Mothers Offering Mutual Support (MOMS), a group of approximately 35
mothers of federal and provincial inmates offering support for new
family members of new inmates, said in a phone interview. "Nobody
knows where to turn or how to get advice, information or anything, so
that's our No. 1 mandate."
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The president for the union representing correctional service officers
at Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee applauds the provincial
government's commitment to install full-body scanners at all of its 26
correctional facilities across the province.
"We've been lobbying for this for a very long time," said Tom O'Neill,
president of Local 467 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union,
in a telephone interview Thursday.
Earlier this week, Yasir Naqvi, the Minister of Community Safety and
Correctional Services, announced that the scanners, at a cost of $9.5
million, will all be installed by the end of 2018.
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Canines work at sniffing out drugs, firearms and ammunition at area
A visitor who once tried to smuggle some drugs into an area
correctional institution appeared to be drug-free to correctional
service officers, but one of the institution's drug-sniffing dogs
didn't think so.
A search of the individual didn't show any drugs and to the human nose
there was no odour of drugs on the person.
But as the dog sniffed the visitor, it stopped at his foot and sat
down, an indication it had found drugs.
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