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Police use of force in Regina on the rise, statistics show

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Regina Police Service (RPS) statistics show officer use of force is on the rise.

“It’s an interesting development,” RPS Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies told reporters Tuesday. “Officers are authorized and have legal authority to use force when necessary. But no one wants to.”

According to the Regina Board of Police Commissioners agenda, total uses of force increased by over eight per cent from 2022 to 2023.

In 2022, police used force 230 times.

Instances of force increased to 249 in 2023.

A use of force model outlines available options for officers including officer presence, communication, physical control, intermediate weapons and even lethal force.

Statistics rely on officers self-reporting their use of force to a supervisor.

The RPS Use of Force Review Board examines each instance. An external review by the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) may be conducted if necessary.

“We have to be transparent,” Davies said. “We have to show the community we are doing the best we can and are fully transparent and accountable for our actions.”

“We can’t police here without that trust,” she added.

The service's records show RPS members discharged their firearms just four times in 2023. There were no such occurrences in 2022.

Conducted Energy Weapons, more commonly known as Tasers, were deployed 11 times last year – nine less than in 2022.

Officers also used physical control a total of nearly 100 times. Just 23 of those were listed as not causing injury.

The RPS canine unit was also deployed 44 times in 2023. Every time, the Use of Force Board reported an injury.

RPS uses the National Use of Force Framework developed nearly 25 years ago in partnership with the Canadian Police College and Ontario Police College.

The framework guides police use of force training, recertification and equipment for police agencies.

Davies said all officers are re-certified and trained on use of force on an annual basis.

According to RPS, they received over 65,000 calls for service in 2023, meaning less than half a per cent of calls involved officer use of force.

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