Article by Lift News
Public Safety Canada has finally released the results of their Oral Fluid Drug Screening Device Pilot Project from this past winter. The program was intended to help coincide with the government’s promise to legalize cannabis, and was in collaboration with Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
The purpose of the project was to test different “oral fluid” devices in the Canadian climate, and to offer training and get feedback from law enforcement on the use and effectiveness of these products. The government has, in the past, tested the reliability of these products. Despite some errors with machinery and some recommendations for refining how data is collected, the government says the results of the study are positive, and will aid law enforcement in handling the expected impacts of cannabis legalization.
The testing took place between December 18, 2016 and March 6, 2017, with 1141 oral fluid samples collected by law enforcement officers across Canada. The results were analyzed by the roadside using two oral fluid drug screening devices, the Securetec DrugRead and the Alere DDS-2. These devices have been used and tested in other jurisdictions, as well.
The report was developed in consultation with seven police jurisdictions: Vancouver Police Department, Halifax Regional Police Service, Toronto Police Service, Gatineau Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, North Battleford RCMP and Yellowknife RCMP.
From December 13-14, 2016, a training session was held for 24 police officers from these seven districts. Each officer committed to collecting at least 10 oral samples, and training two to five additional officers. Officers who received extensive training on the devices reported better ease of use.
Each police service was asked to conduct between 100 and 170 samples on each device, in total, except for Yellowknife due to a smaller population, which was asked to collect 50 samples on each device. Participating officers had various checklists to gather data on ease of use in various conditions.