KAWARTHA LAKES-City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service released its 2022 Use of Force report to the Police Services Board on Thursday.
In 2022, City of Kawartha Lakes Police Officers submitted thirteen Use of Force Reports involving a total of seventeen force options (2 reports involved more than one force option being utilised). When multiple force options were used, it was the combination of a firearm being drawn and a CEW being drawn on every occasion according to the report. That’s down from 23 Use of Force reports for the entire year of 2021, using a total of 54 force options.
Officers drew their guns in nine incidents during the past year with the majority of incidents involving a high-risk situation or weapons call according to the report. That’s down from 14 times the previous year. In 2022 all incidents where a handgun was drawn or pointed at another person, except one involved the officers’ belief that a firearm was involved. In two of those incidents, replica firearms were recovered according to police. Two of the incidents involved officers responding to shooting scenes, and one involved a barricaded person. The report states that on all occasions, the firearms were drawn and/or pointed to affect an arrest, one of which was for a break-and-enter suspect arrested in the building they had broken into.
In Ontario, all police officers are required* to submit a “Use of Force Report” in any of the following circumstances:
• Anytime a member draws a handgun in the presence of the public
• Anytime a member discharges a firearm in the course of their duties
• When a weapon, other than a firearm, is used on a member of the public**
• When any force is used that results in an injury that requires medical attention
*R.R.O. 1990 Reg. 926
**Includes expandable batons, aerosol weapons (OC Spray), and conducted energy weapons (Taser or CEW)
The only time a police firearm was discharged in 2022 was to dispatch a wounded animal.
Officers drew a CEW (taser)on six occasions in 2022; of those six occasions, the CEW was deployed five times. Each time the CEW was drawn and/or deployed was to affect the arrest of what officers call a “combative or assaultive suspect”.
Police say that in every deployment of a use-of-force option also included the use of verbal interaction. (except those involving the destruction of animals or where a building search was conducted, where no subject was located)
In 2022 officers responded to 407 mental health-related calls and of those 407 interactions with people suffering from mental health issues, police reported that officers did not once use force which necessitated the filing of a use of force report.
There were no incidents where an aerosol weapon was the sole use of force option utilised.
Overall, our use of force report submissions over the past nine years is on a slight downward trend.
“I think that speaks to the quality of the service out on the streets right now and that they are doing everything appropriately.” Inspector Tom Hickey told the board.
Police responded to more than 14,000 calls for service in 2022.