Security at the overdose prevention site on Trunk Road will now be handled by Blackbird Security under the Safer Community Plan. (File photo)

New security arrangements for Duncan overdose prevention site

Area now under the Safter Community Plan

Security around the Overdose Prevention Site on Trunk Road will be taken over by Blackbird Security as part of the Safer Community Plan.

The community-based Safer Community Plan is a project to address crime and disorder in parts of the downtown core that is being spearheaded by the City of Duncan, the Municipality of Cowichan, RCMP, Island Health, Cowichan Tribes and other community partners.

A joint statement from all the groups and organizations states that the inclusion of the OPS in the Safer Community Plan reflects the partners’ shared commitment to addressing community concerns and strengthening community safety and security surrounding the site.

RELATED STORY: NEW CORRIDOR SAFETY OFFICE SET TO OPEN IN DUNCAN THIS MONTH ON THE TCH

The City of Duncan and Island Health will jointly manage the security services for the site and neighbourhood.

Blackbird Security has been working to ensure community safety along the TCH corridor between Beverly Street and Boys Road since September as part of the Safer Community Plan.

The OPS is intended to provide a place where people who use drugs can do so while being safely monitored and treated immediately if they overdose.

The site is part of the province’s response to the opioid overdose emergency that has gripped B.C. in recent years, and is one of nine that has opened on the Island since December, 2016.

The OPS in Duncan, which operated on Canada Avenue before moving to 221 Trunk Rd. in April, 2018, has had thousands of visits and zero deaths have occurred due to overdose.

But neighbours have complained of thefts and trespass on their properties, overnight vagrancy, loitering, trash and needle littering, and loud and lewd aggressive behaviour on the streets related to the site.

RELATED STORY: NEIGHBOURS OF DUNCAN OVERDOSE PREVENTION SITE UPSET ABOUT THEFT, PUBLIC SEX, LITTERING

“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 Island Health spokeswoman Keva Glynn.

“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.”

Island Health announced in October that it is looking for a new home for Duncan’s OPS because the current location does not meet community or client needs in the most effective way.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN’S OVERDOSE PREVENTION SITE TO MOVE

The joint statement said Island Health continues to search for an alternative location for the service that will continue to meet clients’ needs while mitigating the impacts on business and residential neighbours.

“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 neighbourhoods,” said Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Are slow drivers breaking the law?

When I am behind a driver that is going slower it bothers me.

Flashback: Trips around the lake, to Japan, and on a dangerous highway

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Cowichan’s 49ers just miss fourth Grover Cup

Since the 49ers were founded, the team had never lost a Tony Grover Cup final

Mary Lowther column: Contemplating the compost heap

David made me a three-bin compost system

Sarah Simpson Column: Mistakes will happen but kindness prevails

You know those jerks who always follow the trail directions wrong? I… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read