Use Of Force By Sarnia Police IncreasesFebruary 22, 2018 12:55pm
The Sarnia Police Service submitted almost double the number of use of force reports in 2017, compared to the year before.
A total of 40 reports were submitted in 2017, compared to 23 in 2016.
Inspector Owen Lockhart says there was an increase in firearm and edged weapon-related calls last year, which would account for the increase.
“If you’re a member of the emergency response team and become encountered with an armed suspect, and several officers draw their firearm, each one of those officers are required to put in a report for use of force,” says Lockhart. “So, each one of those becomes a statistic.”
Last year, officers had five encounters involving a person armed with a firearm, two with replica handguns, 12 with edged weapons, two with large sticks and one with handcuffs.
Officers used a Taser in 18 of the occurrences, up from 13 in 2016.
Use of force could include soft hand techniques, punching, and using a baton, firearm or Taser.
Uniform patrol officers submitted 70% of the reports in 2017, while members of the Emergency Response Team submitted 12.5%.
Use of force contacts represented only 1% of the 2332 arrests made by the Sarnia Police Service in 2017.