Morning testimony at the coroner’s inquest into the death of Alyssa George, also known as Alyssa Oleksiuk concluded with RCMP Inspector Dana Hart testifying.
Inspector Hart commands the Terrace RCMP detachment.
He says of the 1,600-1,500 people who end up staying in the holding cells of the Terrace RCMP each year, about 70% are due to public intoxication.
In addition to their policing duties, Inspector Hart says 30% to 40% of an RCMP officer’s workload now also includes what he calls, social work.
He agreed that additional training to help recognize when people custody are going through withdrawal symptoms would be useful.
But he points out, there’s no long treatment facility in Terrace for those with addiction and abuse issues, or mental health issues.
He says Terrace doesn’t have any long-term detox facilities, with the nearest location in Prince George.
Inspector Hart describes Terrace’s holding cells as a last resort for those who are grossly intoxicated, and says they often shuttle people between their cells and the hospital.