In light of recent videos surfacing on social media, the Calgary Police Service opened its doors Thursday to give media a better look at arrest tactics.
The day started off in the classroom with Constable Marcus Egeborn, who taught some of the verbal techniques officers use while on duty
He says people can be talked into jail 98-percent of the time, meaning force is only used when absolutely necessary.
“The goal to deal with the public is to all get along and to get some compliance because there’s a reason that we are in front of the person to begin with,” Egeborn said. “If we don’t have to use force then that would be great obviously, but if the subject is doing something that makes us do something to protect themselves or someone else then that’s something that we need to do.”
Next, media headed to the mat room to test out some physical strategies that are used when people aren’t cooperating with police.
Constable Alanna Sherwood demonstrated how useful a baton can be when a suspect refuses to release their arms.
The event that hit home with most reporters was when they were given mock weapons and put into life threatening situations. For example, they walked into a room where a man with a baseball bat was yelling profanities and that he “hates police.” Reporters then had to decide in a matter of seconds what the best plan of action would be to address the situation. In most cases, when someone couldn’t be talked down, reporters pulled their guns.
Police Chief Roger Chaffin stressed that, while there was little-to-no training, it was a glimpse into the situations some officers may be in.
“I think it’s important for us to be able to open our doors to the idea of what is like to be an officer and make decisions in difficult circumstances that are evolving rapidly, and why some of our use of force encounters look the way they do.”