KAMLOOPS - RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says there is a specific protocol officers follow in dangerous situations, and the public needs to keep back when they see an incident unfolding.
This comes after video surfaced of a man wielding a hatchet, apparently threatening Kamloops Mounties with it.
The 29-year-old suspect was tasered twice by officers on Fri. June 3, in an effort to detain him.
Shelkie says officers follow a protocol called Incident Management Intervention Model.
"We take in the situation in its totality. We have to look at what the weather conditions are like, the lighting, what amount of public is there, do we have back up, what is our threat," Shelkie said.
Shelkie couldn't speak to why officers involved in the hatchet situation made the decisions they did, but she did analyze how the threat the suspect posed impacted the situation for both the public and officers.
"The situation is right there, happening right now, there’s no time to gather a plan. You have to go with what’s happening right now. So you look at the public that’s there. The amount of people that’s there milling around, there’s people in cars, there’s people on bikes, there’s people on foot," Shelkie said. "What use of force can we use in the situation that will keep ourselves and the public safe?"
Shelkie says number one priority in a dangerous situation is assessing the safety of officers and the public. But social media may have an impact on how the public reacts to police incidents.
"People were standing and getting quite close so they could take [video], and it was getting quite dangerous. So we just ask in a public place if you see a police incident happening, please stand back or even leave the area ... for your safety," Shelkie says.
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