At their annual general meeting on June 29, 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) endorsed a resolution to de-emphasize the role of police in mental health and addictions cases. Police leaders in Ontario are united in their desire to see individuals with mental health and addictions receive adequate care through social services and supports that would lessen the risk of such individuals coming into contact with police and the justice system.
In their press release, OACP President Chief Matt Torigian observed that police will always respond to community safety incidents involving individuals with mental health and addictions conditions; however, addressing these conditions through the health care system and social services is always preferable to engagement with the police and the justice system.
The OACP also called on the Government of Ontario to move forward with their 10-year mental health and addictions strategy.
To access the press release, visit: www.oacp.ca.