One of the biggest news stories of 2016 was the ongoing opioid crisis in Metro Vancouver, and Delta wasn’t immune from its effects.
Back in March, Delta Police’s drug section executed search warrants in Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond, seizing $1.3 million in cash, a number of firearms, 12 kilograms of cocaine, five kilograms of heroin and an unspecified amount of fentanyl and W-18.
Five months later, the community was shaken by the news of nine fentanyl-related overdoses in the span of 20 minutes. Thankfully, all nine victims survived.
As a result of the incident, Delta Police, the Corporation of Delta, the Delta School District, and Fraser Health held a pair of public forums on the dangers of fentanyl in September that drew roughly 600 people between them, and by December all front-line police officers in Delta were issued with naloxone nasal spray kits (pictured), which have already been used to save one life in North Delta.
“On Dec. 24, we had the first chance to be able to use it where it worked successfully and we were able to revive someone,” Dubord said. “So it’s neat to be able to see that come full circle, right from the original drug bust in March through to the community forums and overdoses and now right through to the saving of someone through the use of naloxone.”
Naloxone kits weren’t the only piece of equipment added the DPD’s toolkit in December: After seeing a rise in the number of vehicles failing to stop for police, the department outfitted eight police vehicles with StarChase, a miniature GPS tag and launcher, as part of a one-year pilot project.