Submitted.The Abbotsford Police Department is pleased to see there are two public forums on Harm Reduction being hosted by the City of Abbotsford. On Tuesday, January 22 and Tuesday, January 29 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, the MCA Auditorium will be the venue for debate, discussion and community participation. This will be a good opportunity to not only share your opinion, but also to find out more about an issue that impacts all of us.
The APD recognizes that addiction is primarily a health care issue. Although police often have contact with persons with addiction issues, we believe that health officials should be guiding the policy and provision of health services to those suffering from addiction. However, decisions around Harm Reduction do have implications for the police and others in the community.
A prominent issue within the Harm Reduction discussion is the distribution of clean needles. The APD believes the merits of this position should be determined by health officials in consultation with the residents of the community and City Council. That said, we will provide our input to the Health Board and Council if this option is implemented so that we can maintain our public safety obligations by ensuring that there are minimal issues with disorder and discarded needles.