June 14, 2019 11:45 am

Last year saw significant decrease in use of force calls, say Winnipeg police

A Winnipeg police cruiser outside an apartment block.

Jordan Pearn/Global News

The Winnipeg Police Service says it experienced a significant decrease in ‘use of force’ reports in 2018, when compared to previous years.

According to the WPS’ annual report to the Winnipeg Police Board, released Friday as part of the board’s regular meeting agenda, 2018 saw 757 use of force reports – a decrease of 13 per cent from 2017’s numbers.

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“In all cases where force is used or a weapon is discharged (other than for training purposes), the incident is documented through an electronic reporting system known as Blue Team.

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“This allows use of force experts to independently review and assess whether the force application was reasonable and necessary given the totality of circumstances,” said the report.

“It also allows the Service to identify opportunities for improvement via training, equipment or procedural updates.”

The report says 99.66 per cent of all calls were resolved without police having to resort to force.

“In the vast majority of calls for service, tactical communication and officer presence, were sufficient to restore order or gain compliance.”

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