Cowichan Valley Overdose Prevention Service Included in Enhanced Security Approach
Cowichan Valley – As part of the community-based Safer Community Plan, Iocal government and agencies are partnering to include security around the Overdose Prevention Service (OPS) at 221 Trunk Road.
The Safer Community Plan is a joint effort of the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, RCMP, Island Health, Cowichan Tribes and other community partners. The inclusion of the OPS reflects the partners’ shared commitment to addressing community concerns and strengthening community safety and security surrounding the site.
“We are pleased to collaborate with the City of Duncan to provide security and improve safety for the clients accessing services at the OPS and for the neighbouring community,” said Keva Glynn, Executive Director, Mental Health and Substance Use, Public Health, and Child Youth Strategy. “This is part of our collective work with the City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes and others to address community impacts while offering health services for people living with substance use.”
“Cowichan Tribes recognizes this is a serious matter with the opioid overdoses and the need for a safe site for people dealing with addictions,” says Chief Seymour. “We are glad there is a safe place for the clients to go, and for the safety of all the communities in the Cowichan Valley.”
“We all recognize the challenges our community has been experiencing as a result of the opioid crisis and we are doing everything we can to improve safety and well-being of the impacted neighborhoods,” Duncan’s Mayor Staples says. “Thanks to the City and Island Health working together, Blackbird Security will expand the current Trans-Canada Highway patrol area, under the Safer Community Plan, to include the OPS and surrounding neighbourhood.”
“We are committed to ensuring residents of our collective community are safe, and I am pleased to be working in collaboration with our neighbouring governments and Island Health on this initiative. While we have already signed onto the Safer Communities Plan, this initiative is a necessary piece of that puzzle,” says North Cowichan Mayor, Al Siebring.
The City of Duncan and Island Health will jointly manage the security services for the site and neighbourhood. Security services will be provided by Blackbird Security, which has been working to ensure community safety along the Cowichan Valley Trans-Canada Highway Corridor since September 2019.
Island Health recognizes the current location for the OPS is not ideal due to the size of the facility and its capacity to meet client volume. Island Health continues to search for an alternative location for the service that will continue to meet clients’ needs while mitigating impact on business and residential neighbours.