Line-of-Duty Deaths of Law Enforcement Officers in Canada - 1999-2008
All data from www.odmp.org [LINK for Canada/1999, then browse year-by-year].
Death by violence marked with red.
With all due respect to the fallen, we must examine the facts.
1999: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 6 (Aircraft accident: 1, Automobile accident: 1, Struck by vehicle: 2, Training accident: 1, Vehicular assault: 1)
2000: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 9 (Aircraft accident: 2, Automobile accident: 1, Fall: 1, Heart attack: 1, Motorcycle accident: 2, Struck by vehicle: 2)
2001: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 7 (Aircraft accident: 1, Automobile accident: 2, Drowned: 1, Gunfire: 2, Training accident: 1)
2002: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 12 (Automobile accident: 6, Gunfire: 1, Heart attack: 1, Natural disaster: 1, Struck by vehicle: 3)
2003: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 6 (Aircraft accident: 2, Automobile accident: 3, Motorcycle accident: 1)
2004: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 7 (Assault: 1, Automobile accident: 1, Gunfire: 1, Heart attack: 2, Stabbed: 1, Vehicular assault: 1)
2005: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 11 (Aircraft accident: 2, Automobile accident: 2, Drowned: 1, Gunfire: 5 [four in one horrific incident], Heart attack: 1)
2006: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 6 (Automobile accident: 1, Duty related illness: 1, Gunfire: 3, Vehicular assault: 1)
2007: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 4 (Gunfire: 3, Vehicular assault: 1)
2008: Total Line of Duty Deaths: 2 (Automobile accident: 1, Heart attack: 1)
Accidental deaths are about 70% (49 of 70) of the total. Therefore, logically as opposed to emotionally, to address legitimate concerns about officer safety, the first attention should be directed to traffic safety issues, seatbelt use, procedures for conducting vehicle stops in busy traffic, etc.
And what's up with all these aircraft accidents? Eight (8) deaths in ten years - in aircraft accidents!! How many police officer get on airplanes in the normal course of their duties? And how many get off again? Geesh. Too many officers learning to fly on Company time perhaps? Joy rides masked as aircraft traffic patrols perhaps? Who knows... But if you're looking for somewhere to start - start with that!
2003 was the year when Taser introduced the X26 taser. This more-or-less marks the point where tasers really started to be more and more common in Canada. There were just four (4) officer deaths by violence - total - in the 5 years before this point (1999-2003 inclusive). There were seventeen (17) officer deaths by violence in the 5 years after this point (2004-2008 inclusive).
Even generously adjusting for the tragic Mayerthorpe incident in 2005, where four officers were murdered in one day, the overall trend of officers being killed (through violence, as opposed to accidents) is still sharply UP coincident with the introduction of more and more tasers into the Canadian law enforcement system.
No matter how you look at the data, the increased usage of tasers in Canada has been coincident with a significant upturn in officers' deaths. And it's not a small change. It's a three- or four-to-one ratio from one end of a decade to the other. That's huge.
Late-2007, with the well-publicized and video-captured killing of Mr. Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport, was when the Canadian public first noticed tasers, became outraged, and began the push-back against tasers. While the taser 'debate' raged in Canada during 2008, police actions were scrutinized like never before. There is some indication that some police forces began to scale-back some of the more outrageous taser overuse and misuse. A certain police chief even fretted out-loud that his officers might be mass-murdered if they were slow to zap subjects due to the public outcry.
But according to this data, there have been zero violent deaths of police officers since late-2007. All through 2008, and even including 2009 to date, no officers were murdered in Canada.
More than a year. Zero. None. Zip. Nada.
So police officer deaths by violence in Canada plummetted to zero in 2008 perfectly coincident with increased public scutiny of taser overuse, misuse and abuse.
These are the facts.
Draw your own conclusions.
P-flop... P-flop... P-flop... - the distant sound of taser fan-boys' heads exploding due to overexertion.
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