Regina police use of force incidents up 8% in 2023

Regina Police Service Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies speaks to media on Tuesday. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)
Regina Police Service Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies speaks to media on Tuesday. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

Documented use of force incidents by Regina police increased by eight per cent in 2023 compared to the year before.

According to a report tabled at Tuesday's meeting of the city's Board of Police Commissioners, there were 249 use of force incidents in 2023, up from 230 in 2022.

Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies said the increase is related to how police are getting more calls relating to firearms and violent offences.

"I think if you said to somebody, 'Is it a surprise to you that use of force went up minimally in the city?' I think the answer would probably be that it seems something that we would see in the community," said Davies.

Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies, second from right, speaks at the Regina Police Service Board of Police Commissioners meeting on June 25, 2024.
Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies, second from right, speaks at the Regina Police Service Board of Police Commissioners meeting on June 25, 2024.

Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies, second from right, speaks at the Regina Police Service Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, where a report on use of force incidents was tabled. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

The number of use of force incidents has been consistent during the last five years, the report stated.

"I think that our training is really important in terms of scenario training.… We embed de-escalation in everything that we do and so our officers know that an amped-up situation, there are times when you're just going to have to get right in there," said Davies

Some use of force options that increased included physical strikes causing injury or complaint of injury, firearm discharges, pointing of a firearm and canine deployment causing injury.

The number of times that Tasers were used decreased to nine in 2023 from 20 the year before.

The number of drug overdoses is at 211 so far this year, showing an increase in drugs coming into the city, Davies said.

"In May alone, we had three significant seizures and arrests and charges. A lot of the time we're finding that those are people who don't live in our city but are coming to our city," said Davies.