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Assignment 6: Ombudsman Report summary

Aishwarya Shokeen

PPAS 3190 S3 B

Professor Thomas Klassen

June 13, 2017


Assignment 6: The Ombudsman Report summary- A Matter of Life and Death

Who we are:

- Independent office of the legislature that resolves and investigates public complaints

about Ontario government organizations, municipalities, universities.

- The Ombudsman recommends solutions to individual and system administrative


Values: Fair Treatment, Accountable Administration, Independent, Impartial, Results:

Achieving Real Change.

Mission: Strive to be an agent of positive change by promoting fairness, availability, and

transparency in the public sector.

Vision: Public sector that serves citizens by being fair, accountable and transparent.

Executive Summary:

- For instance, On July 27, 2013, 18 years old Sammy Yatim was shot by a member of

the Toronto Police Service.

- Young man was seen holding a small knife and police officer shot him.

- Social media got involved and questioned: How or why police in Ontario use lethal


- Lethal force refers to tactics that can cause death or serious bodily harm, most

commonly means the use of of police firearms.

- The main question raised was, were police doing enough to talk people down, so they

don't have to shoot them down? Hence, this launched an investigation.


Result of Investigation:

- Ontario Officers have plenty of training on how to use their guns however, not enough

training on how to use their mouths.

- Use of force training -> largely focused on the use of weapons, with very little on

verbal tools that can help them calm down someone who is armed with a weapon and

experiencing a crisis.

- Problem: policers officers aren't following their training properly.

- In reality: when facing a person armed with a knife, they are taught to pull their guns

and loudly command the person to drop it.

- The investigation found problems with: The type and the amount of training that

Ontario police officers receive.

- De-escalation and communications techniques are only explicitly addressed in five 90

minute sessions. (Need to be more used & taught)

- Final pass/fail test on the use of force is largely about using force, not using judgement

to de-escalate and after that, their training is left to the discretion of their individual police

services, with no monitoring by the province to ensure it is consistent from service to service.

- Training gaps need to be filled

- More training is needed to fix culture issues.

- To sum up, this report makes 22 recommendation to the Ministry of community Safety

and Correctional Services,

- Addresses: Its legislative guideline, models, the training at all levels, how to better

track, and assessment of police interactions with people in crisis.


Important Notes:

- Reinvention of the wheel is a must as policing techniques have evolved over time and it

needs to change its definitions of use of force.

- Policing in Ontario is carried out by municipal/ Regional police services and the

Ontario Provincial Police.

- There are too many studies done yet, not enough action.

- Police are part of the mental health system- they are the frontline mental health workers

for many of the most dangerous encounters.

- Preventing deaths includes: 1) preventing the crisis 2) helping the police to deal with

crises in better ways.

- Stepping Up: Improving De-escalation Training for Police across Ontario .

- The Taser- A tool, not a solution.

22 Recommendations (Summary > 1-11) :

1) Ministry Leadership: use its legal & moral authority to deal with de-escalation &

police-involved shootings on persons in crisis.

2) De-escalation Regulation

3) New Use-of-Force Model: Easy to understand & clearly identities de-escalation


4) Coroners Jury recommendations: Should keep complete and accurate records.

5) Improving Training

6) Recruit Training: More explicit training on de-escalation techniques & scenarios.

7) On-The-Job Training

8) Reporting, Tracking, and Using De-escalation Stories

9) Body Warm Video: Actively monitor ongoing police projects.

10) Changing Police Culture: More education on how to handle with crisis situations.

11) Reporting Back: Report on a quarterly basis.


- Shortcomings:

- Investigation identified a shortfall in provincial guidance on the use of force and de-


- Limited training for new recruits.

- A lax approach to on-the-job training and a failure to monitor results.

- Monitoring of in-service training are all below the standards that citizens should expect

in a modern & forward-looking jurisdiction.

- Solutions:

- Ontarios use-of-force model and guideline needs a change.

- More stricter when recruiting officers for training.

- The content needs to evolve with the time.

- Review: The human costs of their legacy of inaction and make this issue a priority.