SIU NEEDS TO RELEASE INFORMATION QUICKER TO STOP NEGATIVE SUSPICION ON OFFICERS INVOLVED

The purpose of the Copfather blog is to speak up for police officers everywhere in the world. Copfather.com has been created to address and examine the positive side of law enforcement stories that do not get the same amount of attention in the daily news worldwide. The mission of my blog on copfather.com is to get the positive police stories out.

Below is my Blog the Toronto Star article is referring to;

It is time to review when Special Investigations Unit (SIU), or affected police service, can release information regarding incident involving police.

Since the start of the SIU, over 25 years ago in Ontario, one of many issues that has been an ongoing problem, is the timing of information released from the SIU, especially when it involves firearms being used by police.  Normal protocol is that once the SIU gets called in to investigate the police they control all media releases and the police service is prohibited from any release of information.

In this day and age with police being questioned more and more, this silence will cause more suspicion on any investigation involving police.   The reality of the SIU is they hardly ever lay charges against the police and the single digit conviction rate is even lower.  So why not give out information on a shooting quicker.   When I was running the Toronto Police Association we would know in first hour if it was a justified shooting or not.  The Police Command and the SIU would both know that 99.9 % of the time these instances were necessary, but despite this, the SIU would sit on this information and the command were muzzled.  To combat this we would purposely leak out the info to media; there was no requirement regarding the police union to stay quite and we did not sit silently and watch the situation fester, for no good reason.

When the Homicide Unit investigates a homicide in Toronto, or any city in Ontario, they will get out information all the time, constantly updating the public through press conferences on TV when it involves a homicide.  The SIU will say nothing and let false accusations swell over the course of weeks or months while the subject officer is under a cloud, along with the police service.

In this day and age what is wrong with telling the world “police were threatened with a weapon (knife or gun) and had to discharge their firearm to protect themselves or others, investigation to continue?”    Would this not be the more honest and direct statement to share with the public instead of “there are 3 subject officers and eight witness officers”, end of release.

This should go both ways and when there is a question about an officer’s judgement when discharging a firearm, this should be stated also to keep everything consistent and transparent, but it is so rare no one should have any issues with this.

It is a terrible situation when a police officer, if forced for the sake of someone else’s safety, or often for their own life, to have to take a life or injure someone. And after this tragic event there is nothing worse then an officer hearing nothing but silence from everyone for months, knowing they will be cleared eventually and often times regarded a hero.

Craig Bromell

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