Police Officers Need Stronger Respiratory Protection than the City Provided

A long-running and complex dispute between the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and police union boiled down to a single issue: Did issuing N95 disposable respirators appropriate for lower risk opioid exposures satisfy WPS’ duty to provide general duty officers suitable PPE? The union and safety committee said no and demanded, among other things, that officers be issued Naloxone injection kits. The arbitrator agreed. The evidence didn’t support WPS’ claim that officers wouldn’t be exposed to higher risk situations with any regularity and could always disengage if they did. And issuing Naloxone would reduce risks and reliance on PPE as the primary safety measure [City of WinnipegWinnipeg Police Service v Winnipeg Police Association, 2018 CanLII 2387 (MB LA), Jan. 1, 2018].