Drug addicts used in police training

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A training program in which officers observe volunteers who may be high on drugs, and is used in 30 U.S. states, has the Edmonton Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in a public relations nightmare.

Acting police chief Mike Bradshaw says "the training is meant to help police officers identify how people behave when they are on drugs."

Bradshaw is also quoted saying police did not provide the men and women - some of them prostitutes - with any drugs during a training session in December.

Cpl. Wayne Oakes of the RCMP clarified the issue of who gave the volunteers the drugs, claiming the police officers were not even present when the drugs were administered, the volunteers used their own drugs.

Bradshaw says the police asked the Metis Child and Family Services Society to provide the nine volunteers, however not all of them were aboriginal. They may or may not have been high during the session.

The volunteers were anonymous and were not promised anything in return for their participation.

An internal investigation has been launched into the program because of one complaint -- not from any of the volunteers -- although police said that's a standard procedure.