Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Ontario’s office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) has announced that it is conducting a review of the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) use of force, de-escalation techniques and approaches to dealing with people with mental health issues, emotionally disturbed people and people in crisis.
The review will examine public complaints filed, evidence collected from complaint investigations, recent high-profile use-of-force incidents involving theTPS and past reviews and reports involving similar issues. It will also look at policies, procedures and practices regarding use of force and equipment, officer training, best practices from other jurisdictions and relevant research and data.
“Recent high-profile cases of Toronto Police Service’s use of force have raised concerns among Toronto citizens and affected public confidence in policing,” head of the OIPRD Gerry McNeilly said in a statement on February 24, 2014. In addition, my office has received public complaints that are significant enough, in my opinion, to warrant the systemic review.”
• The Ontario Police College training in use of force, equipment and the application of the principles of the provinces use of force guidelines;
• Police service training in handling people with mental health issues, emotionally disturbed people and people in crisis and de-escalation techniques;
• the police use-of-force model;
• the supervision and accountability for officer training and deployment and for officers dealing with those with mental health issues; and
• The TPS board oversight and direction regarding use of force.
Irwin Nanda, Executive Vice President of the Ontario Federation of Labour in Toronto, says it is calling on the Attorney General of Ontario to impose uniform guidelines trust the province that requires any police response to focus on de-escalating and defusing confrontations.
The OIPRD will accept submissions from stakeholders until April 4, 2014. He sourced from the OIPRD says the agency plans to complete the review within nine months.
Considering what is going on in the United States at this moment police and the visible minority communities this type of training needs to happen ASAP. (It wouldn’t hurt the Americans to invest in this type of training either)
I’ve never been a big fan of police policing themselves. There are always too many variables that are not addressed and an independent review board with take care of most of that. Could you picture a construction site and asked the contractors to police themselves when it comes to safety? Can the reader picture the chaos on the site? I know I can, we see it almost every day.
When this finally comes to rest, here in Ontario, I hope that other policing agencies like the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and, of course, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) should be able to see the value in this type of upgraded training.
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.