Blue Line

Police watchdog stands by commitment to probe deaths involving naloxone

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Ontario’s police watchdog has rejected a request by a group representing police chiefs to stop investigating cases of serious injury or death involving officers administering the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

February 15, 2018  By The Canadian Press

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police said in a letter to Special Investigative Unit director Tony Loparco last month that police forces should not have to inform the watchdog if the officer’s only physical interaction with the person was to administer the drug.

The group suggested that reporting every case to the SIU could discourage officers from administering the drug in life-threatening situations.

In his response to the association, SIU director Tony Loparco rejects that reasoning, saying it was akin to suggesting a police officer would choose not to get involved in a hostage situation because their actions might be scrutinized by the watchdog.

Loparco says that his organization has the jurisdiction to examine all deaths and serious injuries involving police interaction and he sees no reason to make an exception for cases involving naloxone.

Loparco says the Special Investigations Unit is regularly notified in instances when a person dies or is injured after police administer other forms of emergency medical treatment.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2018

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