The Vancouver Police Department says its officers have responded to an overdose with the use of naloxone for the first time since they were equipped with the life-saving drug last year.
Staff Sergeant Bill Spearn says two officers attended an overdose outside Rogers Arena in December 28.
The department has recently equipped their members with naloxone for their own protection.
Spearn says the VPD rarely responds to overdose emergencies to encourage users to phone 911 without fear of arrest.
“But I have every confidence that our members seeing somebody overdose on the street will come to their aid.”
Spearn says this doesn’t mean there’s been a change in policy.
“As far as policy goes, that’s a work in progress but I can tell you that no member of the VPD’s going to walk by somebody who’s experiencing an opioid overdose when they’re carrying naloxone.”
Spearn says police are often the first responders people look for in an emergency, including an overdose.