Should police be investigated if someone dies after they administer a life-saving drug?

Should police be investigated if someone dies after they administer a life-saving drug?
From CBC - March 13, 2018

The union representingPeel Regional Police officers is objecting to aninvestigation by Ontario's police watchdog into the death of a Brampton manafter officers administeredthe anti-opioid drug naloxone.

The Special Investigations Unit opened the probe Monday after police were called to a home in the McLaughlin Road and Queen Street West area for medical assistance.Officers beganCPR on the man and administerednaloxone, before the 36-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Const. AdrianWoolley, president of the Peel Regional Police Association, said the Special Investigations Unit's probe is unnecessary and causes undue stress on officers "acting in good faith."The association acts as a bargaining agent for 2,900 members.

"I feel that, when front line officers anywhere in the province of Ontario try to administer life-saving medication and then they get investigated by the SIU simply for trying to save someone's life, it's a waste of taxpayers' money, I believe," Woolley said on Tuesday.

Peel police officers have been carrying naloxone in nasal spray form since June 2017.

Five SIU investigatorsare working on the case, which is the first watchdog probe into a death involving the police administration of naloxone in Ontario.

'We are just trying to save the person's life'

TheSIUinvestigates all reports involving police where there is death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

After the investigation was announced, the police association expressed frustration on social media, calling on Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvito clarify the SIU's mandate. Investigating police officers who try to save the life of an overdose victim? How is wasting tax payers money to investigate officers trying to save peoples lives makes any sense. @Yasir_Naqvi @mflalonde, clarify the SIU mandate where narcan is deployed.


Woolley declined to comment on the incident specifically, but speaking generally, he said SIUinvestigationsinto such cases are unwarranted.

"It's not a result of any actions that the officers have done. We are just trying to save the person's life. Being investigated in attempts to save someone's life from an opiate overdose is completely unfair," he said.

Woolley said theSIU should follow the lead of B.C.'sIndependent Investigations Office, which decided in December 2016 that it will not investigate medical incidents involving serious harm, death and police in B.C. where officers providedmedical care, including naloxone or CPR, and attempted to save lives.

B.C. police services are still required to inform the agency if force was used, the person was incustody and if the person suffered serious harm or death due to a motor vehicle incident involving police or a police chase.

Woolley said he understands that deaths must be investigated to determine causes.

Up to police watchdog to decide if investigation warranted

'People will possibly need multiple doses'


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