Police prioritize de-escalation, but must act decisively to stop imminent threats
Re: “Man shot in head by police breating on his own”, (Citizen, May 18)
A recent open letter to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP speculating on events surrounding a police incident now under independent investigation demands a response on behalf of all the RCMP members passionately and professionally serving the Cowichan community and beyond.
RCMP members are highly trained in de-escalation and that is always their preferred and focused course of action. When force is absolutely required to protect the public or other officers resulting in injury to a subject, an independent investigation is triggered.
In B.C., these incidents are referred to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., and it is critically important to allow their work to unfold without interference, speculation, or sensationalized accusations in the media or elsewhere.
Across Canada, members of the RCMP respond to an average of three million calls every year (or 8,000 calls per day), with any use of any force occurring in less than one-10th of one per cent of all interactions.
Every day, RCMP members and all police put their lives on the line in the name of public safety. This often leads to physical and psychological trauma for the officers and their families, and yet they continue to carry out their duties with professionalism, courage and dedication even under scrutiny and following the recent spate of police murders across Canada. For that, they deserve our thanks and respect.
Pacific/North Region director
National Police Federation