Shocking facts on use of force
The Windsor Police Service board held a public meeting and their findings in the use of force annual report may come as a shock.
The number of injuries sustained by members of the community decreased in 2016 compared to previous years and Windsor Police Service attributes the drop to the use of Tasers and stun guns.
These conducted energy weapons are referred to by officers as CEWs. Police use Tasers and stun guns to subdue a subject without the same kind of injuries that may be caused by other uses of force such as batons and guns.
In 2012, 16 members of the community were injured from the use of force. This number has dropped to eight incidents for 2016. That is a 300 per cent drop that Windsor Chief of Police Al Frederick attributes to CEW use.
“There’s a dramatic drop. It’s directly connected to the Taser. More use of the Taser that does not cause injury and less use of impact weapons that do cause injury,” said Frederick.
In 2014 the WPS board and the police chief approved the authorized use of CEW for all frontline officers.
“The CEW Taser is an absolutely fantastic weapon for de-escalation and it does not involve any lasting injury to the officer or the subject,” said Steve Betteridge, a WPS sergeant.
Inspector Tom Crowley said the number of times a handgun was drawn in 2016 was 125, which is lower than the 154 incidents in 2015. With 60 reported incidents of the use of a CEW in 2016 the number has increased from the 47 incidents reported in 2015.
“It’s a safer deployment of a force option and is more effective,” said Crowley about the use of CEW Tasers.
He said there were six incidents of firearm discharge last year and all six were used to euthanize animals, primarily in the Herb Gray Parkway area.