Police deserve stronger court protections – far too many preventable deaths and injuries
March 29, 2023 By National Police Federation
Mar. 29, 2023, Ottawa, Ont. – In the past months, far too many police officers in Canada have been killed or injured protecting Canadians, often in situations which were preventable through the courts.
In 2022, five police officers were killed by individuals known to police and, in several instances, recently released on bail conditions: Const. Andrew Hong (Toronto Police Service), Const. Morgan Russell, Const. Devon Northrup (South Simcoe Police Service), Const. Shaelyn Yang (RCMP Burnaby), and Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala (Ontario Provincial Police). More recently, two Edmonton Police Officers, Const. Travis Jordan, and Const. Brett Ryan and, separately, Sgt. Maureen Breau (Sûreté du Québec) were also murdered on duty.
In addition to these murders, Canadian police officers are also injured, often intentionally, serving Canadians and their communities at least weekly and too-often daily.
In one recent example, on March 25 a Prince George RCMP member was viciously assaulted by an individual subsequently charged with counts of aggravated assault and assaulting a Peace Officer. The member required hospitalization and, for context, an aggravated assault charge requires that the accused wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of a person: essentially causing life altering injuries.
The subject of these charges has a history of multiple convictions for resisting arrest, assault, breaching probation and breaching bail conditions. He was again released on bail just two days later for this incident.
“These preventable deaths and injuries tied to the revolving door of the courts are not only physically dangerous for our Members but also have significant impacts on member morale, retention, and the wellbeing of their families,” said Brian Sauvé, President and CEO of the National Police Federation. “They also ultimately risk the safety of the broader community as these repeat violent offenders become more complacent and disrespectful of police and our legal system generally.”
“The NPF is calling on all governments across Canada to ensure our Members, and all officers, have the resources they need to protect our communities, and their colleagues. This includes finding meaningful mitigations to the increase in repeat offenders. In conjunction with this, our federal and provincial judicial systems need more resources to strengthen bail and parole reform. We look forward to continuing to work with all governments to identify and implement these resources and solutions.”
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