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Crimes and policing change amid COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario forces say

COVID-19 has changed both criminal behaviour and policing in Ontario. Some of the crime trends, such as a surge in domestic violence, have been predictable. Others, such as a significant rise in car thefts, have perplexed officers. Both trends have been seen by York Regional Police. The force, which has jurisdiction north of Toronto, crunched some numbers comparing this March to last year’s.

Ontario announces additional measures to protect first responders

“First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect Ontarians and they are at great risk of being directly exposed to COVID-19 as they fulfill their frontline duties,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, in a joint statement. “We must do everything in our power to ensure the health and well-being of those working on the frontlines and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs and keep Ontarians safe.”

Tainted statements and the “Wittwer warning”

The concern in R. v. Wittwer (2008) was the conditions in which an earlier inadmissible statement would taint a subsequent statement making it also inadmissible (R. v. Tang, 2015). The case gave rise to the so-called “Wittwer warning,” a protocol intended to isolate a subsequent statement from an earlier inadmissible statement, in order to preserve the admissibility of the subsequent statement.
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Dr. Vern White

Blue Line, The Podcast: Senator Vern White on COVID-19 and the frontline

Dr. Vern White, senator and former police chief, joins us from our nation’s capital for this special podcast episode as we continue to grapple with this unprecedented coronavirus spread. “I’m not sure you could ever train perfectly for something like this,” he tells Blue Line’s editor. Find out more about White’s experience as a chief of police during the H1N1 outbreak, his thoughts on what police leadership should hone in on in the coming months, supporting the larger police family, and how prepared Canadian law enforcement is for something like this. » Read more

NEW in Off the Shelf • 160 Years of Policing the Imperial City

Staff Sgt. Chris Oram (ret.) shares his thoughts on Phil Egan’s comprehensive new book about the history of the Sarnia Police Service and beyond. “As with all well-researched and well-written books, the reader receives far more than what the title implies,” he writes. “No piece of history ever existed in a vacuum. There are always origins and causes, sometimes a world away causing sway on local outcomes. This book shows how seemingly recent issues such as opiate addiction, in reality, have a history spanning nations and centuries.” » Read more

Honouring our first responders during crisis

“The current health scare involving COVID-19 is going to show the best and worst of humankind. On one end we will see people sharing what they have with others in need as well as remotely supporting local businesses as much as they reasonably can. On the other side, we will see hoarding at the expense of others and extreme paranoia.” Tom Wetzel, the chief of police for the City of Richmond Heights police department in Ohio, shares his thoughts on policing in a pandemic. » Read more

Situation awareness: is it time to expand use-of-force training?

We hear a lot about the importance of situation(al) awareness (SA) in law enforcement but what do we know about how to train officers to monitor and regulate their SA in dynamic and uncertain environments? To answer this question, we first need to understand what is meant by SA and why it is so important to decision-making and action. » Read more
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Blue Line Expo 2020

Blue Line Expo 2020 is now on Sept. 29

ICYMI: Blue Line Expo 2020 has been postponed to Sept. 29 and will now be taking place in Marshall Hall at Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener, Ont. We are thrilled to be on site in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, a well-known tech hub, to bring together the best of law enforcement for a day of learning, networking and review of the latest technology, services and products shaping the market. » Stay tuned

Risk & Recovery Conference

Location: Hamilton, Ont.
» More info

Canadian Police Association Conference

Location: Ottawa, Ont.
» More info

Battle of the Badges Hockey Tournament

Location: Oshawa, Ont.
Date: POSTPONED to Fall 2020
» More info

Canadian Critical Incident Stress Congress and Training

Location: Niagara Falls, Ont.
Date: POSTPONED to Fall 2020
» More info