The public is invited and encouraged to attend a community forum on fentanyl at Williams Lake City Hall this week.
The event, set to take place Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., will feature presentations from Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake (BGCWL) Harm Reduction Co-ordinator Jordan Davis, Williams Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron and Williams Lake Community Policing manager Dave Dickson and will include a question and answer session.
Davis said she has been getting many requests to provide more information on fentanyl and fentanyl overdoses since she, Williams Lake RCMP Staff. Sgt Del Byron and Youth Probation Worker Kelly Call have visited several schools in the district to give presentations to youth on the subject.
“We thought having a community forum would be a great way to offer information to anyone who would like to learn more,” said Davis.
Byron said his role in the project has been to discuss the dangers of fentanyl and fentanyl overdoses, what local law enforcement is doing from an enforcement angle as well as letting students and the general public know that the police are here to help.
“We want to be proactive rather than reactive.”
Davis said there has been 488 overdose deaths in B.C. so far this year, which led the province to declare a public health emergency.
For her part at the community forum, Davis will be discussing signs and symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, the use of naloxone kits and how parents can talk to their teens about drugs.
She encourages everyone — from community agencies staff to educators to local non-profit managers and parents and teens — to join in the discussion Thursday at city hall.
“It can lead to some great dialog, and you will be able to see how this crisis is being dealt with from all sides on a community level.”
Additionally, Davis and RCMP Const. Sharon Peters will be giving a brief presentation on a new community project they are collaborating on called the Human Trafficking Prevention Project.
That project will be the first of its kind that will see the RCMP partner with a community agency, BGCWL harm reduction co-ordinator, to focus on preventing vulnerable youth in the community from falling victim to human trafficking.
The community forum on fentanyl is sponsored by the Williams Lake Tribune and The Goat FM.