CPS to conduct independent review into use of force
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:55AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:53PM MDT
The Calgary Police Service is launching an independent review of policies and procedures in regards to the use of lethal force during police incidents.
The review comes after 10 people were shot by Calgary police in 2016, with five of those dying as a result.
Police at the time said that the spike in opioid activity was spurring an increase in the number of car thefts.
Those thefts have led to dangerous confrontations between suspects and police that result in officers needing to employ deadly force to protect themselves and the public.
Officials say the goal of the review will be to provide recommendations to ensure there are zero fatalities in future incidents.
"We all are aware of what we went through as a city and as a service last year; the amount of violence in the city, we really wanted to commit to the public to want to begin a process to understand our service and make sure, going forward, that we had the best footing and the best understanding in terms of a modern police service. So we set about a process to set up a framework for this, we did a search process to find the right person who could lead an independent review and give us the best insight," said Police Chief Roger Chaffin.
The review will be led by Hon. Chief Justice Neil Wittmann, who has 50 years of legal experience and a strong understanding of criminal law in Canada.
During the course of the review, Wittmann will speak experts, stakeholders and CPS members.
The review is structured to take about a year to complete, but Chaffin says he doesn't want it constrained to that timeframe.
"I want it to take the time it needs to take to fulfill it's mandate... we want it to run it's course."
This is the first time the CPS has conducted a full comprehensive report of this nature.