OMBUDSMAN: POLICE NEED BETTER TRAINING IN DE-ESCALATION
Jun 29, 2016
By Bob Komsic
Police officers in Ontario receive plenty of instruction on how to use their guns – not enough on how to use their ”mouths.”
So says ombudsman Paul Dube who points out 19 people have been killed in police shootings in the province since he opened a special investigation following the 2013 shooting of teen Sammy Yatim aboard a TTC streetcar.
The government watchdog says inquests have shown police respond with their guns when vulnerable people are in crisis because they’re following their training, which focuses on ”drawing their weapons and yelling commands.”
Dube adds there’s ”ample evidence” the government has to make the issue a priority and mandate more instruction time in de-escalation techniques, including the more than 100 coroner’s jury recommendations calling for improved training.
He says the basic police training course in Ontario is among the shortest in the country and is more focused on how to use weapons than on finding alternative solutions.