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Am J Public Health. 2019 Jun;109(6):921-926. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305030. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Interactive Versus Video-Based Training of Police to Communicate Syringe Legality to People Who Inject Drugs: The SHIELD Study, Mexico, 2015-2016.

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Jaime Arredondo, Leo Beletsky, Pieter Baker, Daniela Abramovitz, Irina Artamonova, Erika Clairgue, Mario Morales, Maria Luisa Mittal, Teresita Rocha-Jimenez, Steffanie A. Strathdee, and Javier A. Cepeda are with the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. Thomas Kerr is with the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Arnulfo Banuelos is with the Department of Planning and Special Projects, Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Municipal, Tijuana, Mexico.


Objectives. To assess how instructional techniques affect officers' intent to communicate syringe legality during searches in Tijuana, Mexico, where pervasive syringe confiscation potentiates risk of HIV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID) and of occupational needle-stick injury among police. Methods. Using the SHIELD (Safety and Health Integration in the Enforcement of Laws on Drugs) model, Tijuana police underwent training to encourage communication of syringe possession legality to PWID. Trainees received either passive video or interactive role-play exercise on safer search techniques. We used logistic regression to assess the training's impact on self-reported intent to communicate syringe legality by training type and gender. Results. Officers (n = 1749) were mostly men (86%) assigned to patrol (84%). After the training, intent to communicate the law improved markedly: from 20% to 39% (video group) and 20% to 58% (interactive group). Gender and training type significantly predicted intent to communicate syringe legality. Male and female officers' adjusted odds ratios in the interactive group were 5.37 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.56, 6.33) and 9.16 (95% CI = 5.88, 14.28), respectively, after the training. Conclusions. To more effectively persuade police to endorse harm reduction and occupational safety practices, police trainings should include interactive elements.

[Available on 2020-06-01]

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