“To Serve and Protect Inject”
I longed for the day I could open my phone, place an order for fast food and have it delivered to my doorstep.
Alas, the era has arrived.
Has there ever been a better time to be alive? If you were one of the roughly 10% of people who, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, develop an opioid disorder or addiction, then no, these are the best days.
Imagine being an opioid addict and having a mobile site that comes to your neighborhood and allows you to inject to get high. They provide warmth, licensed and trained medical staff and clean needles all at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Our neighbor to the north, Canada, has provided such a service through their CDC counterpart, Interior Health Department, and the elected leaders of Seattle are exploring the possibility of such a service.
On June 7, 2018 at a Seattle city council meeting the idea of having a “large mobile medical van” according to Meg Olberding, a Human Services Dept spokesperson.
The van would offer multiple consumption booths as well as recovery space. Each van would not be mobile to the likes of the Canadian model.
Jeff Sakuma, a health strategist with Seattle’s Human Services Dept, stated that, “It is an option where we would actually lease or go into an agreement regarding a fixed site”. That means each night, the van returns to a secured area but will ultimately become a staple destination for neighborhood junkies.
Each injection van is estimated to cost $350,000… and then another $1.8 million to retrofit for its intended use. Annual cost between maintenance, staff, fuel, supplies, and incidentals is estimated at $2.5 million. At this time it is unclear if those funds need to be allocated or will be utilized in an existing budget.
Remember when I pointed out that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from opioid addiction?
Well now that you’re further into this article, it went up. The CDC also estimates that opioid overdoses have increased in the midwestern region by 70% from July 2016 to September 2017. The use of opioids is so rampant that the CDC can no longer accurately provide usage estimates in a timely fashion.
If roughly 30 million Americans are abusing opioids, it’s fair to say that they are not the only one’s suffering. Addicts have family, friends and co-workers who are affected which means roughly half of our nation has some sort of involvement in which they are negatively impacted by opioids.
Ask any parent or spouse who has uttered the words, “It kills me to see them like this. They are sick, they have an illness” and they will tell you about how they witnessed a career, health, finances, etc. go down the drain.
Why is nobody asking our men and women in law enforcement?
Why is nobody asking the opinion of a patrol officer who risked their life and drove 80 mph through traffic so that they could respond to an emergency that was called in as a medical situation only to get there and find out they have to inject an addict with Narcan?
You think you’ve seen your loved one at their low?
Try being a first responder. Try being the one who risks their life to serve and protect, I mean inject, on a daily basis for someone who has little or no regard for other lives around them.
As if it wasn’t enough of an insult, let’s look back at the city of Seattle and their almost $5 million injection van. What if I told you that the entire Police Dept budget for narcotics investigations in the city of Seattle is only $5.3 million? What about the inflation in crime that is certain to rise as a result of these injection sites and the mere $12.9 million allocated for patrol operations? Check it out.
On a scale of 1 to John McEnroe how pissed off are you now?
How can we expect our men and women of the badge to do good policework if they spend countless hours training and responding to an epidemic that is being enabled by our elected officials? Imagine the fear of being a victim to a home invasion in progress and having to wait an extra 10 minutes for an available officer to respond because your tax dollars have that officer treating an addict. Now imagine being the officer who deals with the ensuing frantic nature of the victim and their frustrations.
In a time where the police are chastised by the media and every mistake they make is put on display for all armchair cops to dissect and critique, is this growing burden yet another straw on their breaking backs? I would argue that contributing to and accommodating addicts directly changes the scope of policework and the community suffers the greatest.
Any person of average intellect can deduce that an epidemic of this magnitude must be met with full cooperation of law enforcement and elected officials. It warrants the full support of our finances, logic, bipartisanship and community resources.
On second thought, keep your fast food delivery. The best time to be alive has passed. It was when the only addictive vans around were the ones that sold ice cream and you could enjoy it as a 9-year-old with your friends without your parents worrying.
Why? Probably because the cops were able to do their jobs and keep our streets safe.\