Fewer Cornwall police arrests using force in 2015

Cornwall Deputy Police Chief Danny Aikman, left, and Chief Dan Parkinson during a police board meeting on Jan. 28, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall police had fewer occasions in 2015 where they used force while making an arrest.

But the criteria for reporting use-of-force resulted in the Cornwall Community Police Service seeing an overall increase – 48 cases in 2015 compared to 42 in 2014.

If an officer draws a weapon but doesn’t fire it, it’s still considered a use-of-force.

Statistics shared Wednesday morning at the city police board meeting show there were 31 times where some sort of weapon or physical power had to be used by an officer among the 1,458 arrests that were made.

That’s down from the 40 times in 2014 during 1,685 arrests.

There were fewer times cops were using or displaying guns (27 in 2015 compared to 29 in 2014). However, the use of tasers was up – 16 times last year compared to 12 in 2014. But only three of those times was the taser actually fired, states the report.

Chief Dan Parkinson also noted that this was the first full year that the conducted energy weapons (tasers) were being carried by all front-line officers.

The chief believes there is not an “indiscriminate use” of the devices and notes that officers are opting more times to use a non-lethal use of force, as opposed to a gun.

Three people had to be treated by paramedics after a confrontation with an officer. In one case it was to remove the taser probes.

Here’s a look at other statistics shared with the board Wednesday:

  • There were four police chases in 2015. All four were called off in the interest of public safety. That’s down from five pursuits in 2014.
  • The City of Cornwall saw 89 people reported missing in 2015. All were found or accounted for. The busiest months police had for missing people were January, February and June. Nearly five per cent of those missing were children under 12. There were 64 missing persons reports in 2014 and 94 in 2013.