On March 24, 2022, a Toronto Police Service (TPS) member’s negligent discharge of a firearm sent him to hospital with serious injuries.
On March 31, 2022, a Peel Regional Police Service (PRPS) member’s negligent discharge sent that individual to hospital as well.
Two negligent discharges by police officers in eight days are either freak, unrelated cases or they hint at a broader problem – a lack of basic firearm safety training for Toronto-area police officers.
Thankfully neither officer was killed by their own mistake, but that’s the only good news.
In the first case, the TPS officer was in the Fairview Mall area in North York when his negligent discharge sent one or more bullets through his hand and leg. No details of the event were released an a Professional Standards investigation into the incident is underway.
The second case took place at a Mississauga training facility at approximately 1 p.m. That individual’s negligent discharge sent them to hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, said Const. Sarah Patten, PRPS Media Relations. She release no further details except to say a review is underway as is standard procedure whenever a firearm is discharged – intentionally or negligently.
If we learn any more about these incidents at all, it won’t be until after these two investigations are complete.
Familiarity can breed contempt, as the old saying goes, and my hope is that is not the case here. At a minimum, these two officers handled their firearms improperly – negligently.
These two negligent discharges offer police services across Canada a brilliant opportunity to refresh proper gun handling skills amongst all their members to reinforce proper firearm handling and safety techniques.