Training in De-escalation Techniques a ‘win-win’

The Urban Alliance on Race Relations has called for the creation of a civilian, arms-length body that would “monitor the training that every single police officer receives … and ensure compliance,” said Gary Pieters, the group’s president.

He also called for MCITs to be present to handle “emotionally disturbed persons” in all situations.

Sammy Yatim shooting: Ombudsman calls look at de-escalation techniques a ‘win-win’

André Marin defended his decision to launch an investigation into police tactics while his office gave new details on the inquiry.

By: Jacques Gallant Staff Reporter, Alex Ballingall News, Published on Fri Aug 09 2013

Article Source: Toronto Star

The Ontario ombudsman is defending his decision to launch an investigation into police tactics, saying officers across the province should welcome his inquiry.

André Marin took to Twitter on Friday to call the probe a “win-win situation,” while his spokeswoman, Linda Williamson, gave new details on the inquiry, saying its scope will be wide — even looking beyond the province.

The ombudsman announced Thursday he was launching an investigation into police policies for defusing heated situations in the wake of public outrage over the shooting death of Sammy Yatim. The review will focus on existing de-escalation guidelines mandated by Queen’s Park, and whether training for Ontario’s police officers is adequate.

The announcement was met with criticism from the Toronto Police Association, with its president, Mike McCormack, accusing Marin of “grandstanding.”

“Quite frankly, it seems almost opportunistic of him,” he said, adding: “I don’t see it as a win-win situation at all. It seems like a very broad-based, attention-grabbing statement.”

McCormack also said Marin has his work cut out for him because every police force is different with its own policies and training procedures.

“Every service has a different policy, so what are we looking at?” he asked, adding he feels the parameters of the investigation appear to be “very vague.”

Many experts, however, applaud Marin’s decision to launch the probe, saying police use-of-force training should include more emphasis on verbal de-escalation, and that there should be greater independent scrutiny of incidents when someone is killed by police.

There have also been calls for a wider use of Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCIT), which partner a mental health nurse with a specially trained police officer, to be used in every case involving an emotionally disturbed person, including those possessing weapons.

As it stands, the province requires police services to have policies and procedures for responding to critical incidents and for use of force. Click to Continue Reading the Article


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