CORNWALL, Ontario – At a presentation to the Cornwall Police Service (CPS) Board on Thursday, Oct. 3 CPS Sgt. Troy St. Germain outlined the number of times the service used force in 2018.
For firearms, guns were drawn on 16 occasions. On three occasions, CPS officers used their firearms to kill animals and On four other occasions guns were drawn. The Cornwall Emergency Response Team (CERT) drew their weapons on nine occasions.
Conducted Energy Weapons or CEWs (tasers) were deployed 30 times. Of those 30 deployments, on four occasions, both officers deployed their weapons during the course of an arrest, on two occasions, the CEW was used to subdue an animal.
Bean bag weapons, which are only used by CERT, were used three times.
Non-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray and batons were not deployed at all in 2018.
Officer St. Germain explained the thought process that an officer goes through when determining what level of force to use.
An officer is trained to assess, plan and act based on the posturing of the suspect they are interacting with and their own experience.
“You don’t want to use too much force, because you don’t want to get into trouble and hurt the person,” St. Germain said.
Deputy CPS Cheif Shawna Spowart said that CPS’ use of force in 2018 was consistent with historical data.
“Overall Use of Force has been relatively consistent by our service over the past number of years. There has been an increase in the use of the Conducted Energy Weapon, however we attribute this increase to the broader deployment of the CEW’s to all police officers across the service in 2014,” she said.