The Abbotsford Police Department has made an official statement that it isn't going to get involved in the upcoming harm reduction debate in the community.
The APD believes that addiction is primarily a health care issue and health officials should be guiding policy and service provision, said Const. Ian MacDonald.
"We're not experts on the health care of addicts," said MacDonald.
"It will be up to city council to establish its decision in consultation with Fraser Health and the involvement of the community."
The city is reviewing its current anti-harm reduction bylaw that prohibits harm reduction services such as needle exchanges, marijuana dispensaries or supervised injection sites.
Fraser Health has urged the city to establish needle exchange services to lower the Abbotsford's high rate of hepatitis C infections believed to be tied to addicts re-using dirty needles and crack pipes.
Whatever the future decision around harm reduction, the APD will then provide input around and deal with any public safety concerns, said MacDonald.
"Whatever the side of debate . . . we will minimize any issues that could be related to disorder and discarded needles."
The city is hosting two public forums around harm reduction on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. For more information visit abbotsford.ca/home.