The province is spending $2 million to build a new sobering centre in Brandon for people intoxicated by drugs and alcohol.
The sobering centre will give people under the influence of drugs or alcohol a safe place to go if they don’t have anyone to care for them.
Rather than using police or hospital resources, the sobering centre will give non-violent people a place for short-term recovery, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said Thursday morning outside Brandon City Hall.
Public intoxication is a significant issue in the city. Brandon police officers respond to more than 1,000 calls a year where drugs or alcohol are involved.
"The addition of a sobering centre for our area will provide a more appropriate and services-oriented approach to serving people dealing with addictions," said Mayor Rick Chrest in a press release. "This will be a benefit to those who require assistance and to our police service personnel who are on the front line rendering assistance to individuals experiencing public intoxication."
Brandon Police Service Deputy Police Chief Randy Lewis said the centre will enhance public safety by freeing up police officers’ time from taking care of intoxicated people in detention cells.
The City of Brandon and province are still in discussions on the concrete details of the sobering centre, including where it will be, who will staff it and which level of government will provide ongoing funding.
See Friday’s newspaper for more details.
» The Brandon Sun