The Command Post Volume 35 - Summer Edition

Includes articles from the York Regional Police, Toronto Emergency Task Force, Dr. Frank Trovato, and more.

Published on Jun 20, 2014

First and foremost, I want to extend my sincere and deepest sympathy for the families, coworkers, and friends of Cst. Fabrice Gevaudan, Cst. Dave Ross and Cst. Douglas Larche of the RCMP, “J” Division. The three Officers responded bravely and without hesitation to do everything in their power to locate and arrest their suspect.

I am very excited about this year’s fall conference. Inspector Scott Green, his dedicated team and I will ensure that this year’s conference will be a tremendous success. This year will be presenting the inaugural Exemplary Leadership in Critical Incidents award. This award recognizes those demonstrating incredible leadership skills during a critical incident. This year’s award will be presented to Major-General (ret’d) Lewis MacKenzie. Mr. Mackenzie is a recipient of the Order of Canada, Order of Military Merit, Meritorious Service Cross, Order of Ontario and the Canadian Forces Decoration. Mr. Mackenzie is most famous for establishing and commanding Sector Sarajevo as part of the United Nations Protection Force in former Yugoslavia in 1992. He is frequently sought by Canadian broadcast media as a security and military affairs commentator. I am very grateful that Mr. Mackenzie is the first recipient of this award!

The agenda will also include very informative, compelling case studies and issues relating to mental health such as; Homewood Health Centre – The psychological impact of critical incident on police officers; FBI Supervisory Special Agent Vince Dalfonzo - Jimmy Dykes kidnapping; Toronto ETF – Kachkar arrest; Saskatoon P.S. – Barricaded suspect; Special Investigation Unit - Executive Director Bill Curtis; Toronto P.S Det. Warren Bulmer - Social Media; Hamilton P.S. - attempted suicide; National Emergency Number Association - Nancy Banks; Halton Regional P.S. – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle; OPP Cst. Kris Size – Crisis negotiations Program; Guelph P.S.– Alice Street Hostage taking. We are confident that the Guelph Holiday Inn Conference Centre will provide an excellent venue.

I want thank Kris Size of the OPP Kawartha Lakes Detachment, for joining the CCII Advisory Board. Kris is a former member of the Toronto Police Service, with 15 years OPP Trauma Team experience and 5 years as a Crisis Negotiator.

Police training continues to be a main issue. Having qualified and current training methods, practices, and records is not only required under the police act, and internal directives, but is also useful for legal liability. A primary example is the case of Cst. Dave Cavanagh of the Toronto Police ETF, who was charged with second-degree murder and after a very lengthy judiciary process, had the charge dismissed. Proper training and maintaining training records proved to be an important issue and benefit for the defence as mentioned in Judge Block’s decision.

The last issue of the Command Post featured an article prepared by S/Sgt. Dean Streefkerk of the London P.S., Emergency Support Section, relating to the use of social media reporting the location and movement of tactical officer’s during a high risk gun call. The need to control the reporting via social media of tactical officers is vital for the safety of the officers, in addition to the containment and arrest of the suspect(s). The points mentioned in Dean’s article were an issue during the ambush of the three RCMP members in Moncton and subsequent arrest of the suspect.

In the early spring I had the pleasure of instructing the Crisis Negotiator’s Refreshers Course in Sault Ste. Marie, along with Sault Ste. Marie members, the Niagara Regional Police, and the OPP. Following this, I attended the Windsor Police Service and delivered a Ministry accredited Crisis Negotiators course. Along with the fine members of the Windsor Police Service, S/Sgt. Gary Potts of Brantford P.S and Dave Marxsen a Criminal Investigative Psychologist with the RCMP “E” Division attended the course. I then had the equal pleasure of instructing the York Regional Police Service with a Ministry accredited Crisis Negotiators Course. York Regional Police included their communicators along with members of their Emergency Response Unit to be qualified crisis negotiators. I believe York Regional Police is the first service to train and qualify their Communicators as Crisis Negotiators. This is beneficial since communicator/call-talkers are usually the first point of contact with a person in a state of crisis, and therefore the first to assess and respond based on the situation which can dramatically influence the outcome.

In April, I provided a Critical Incident Refresher Course to members of the Brantford Police Service. The class included members for the Guelph, Woodstock, Stratford, and Niagara Regional Police Services. The refresher course has been modified to review key issues facing Incident Commanders today, with an emphasis on social media, attending to those suffering from mental illness, identifying and managing critical incident stress. It has been a great experience and privilege for me to travel and instruct such a diverse, knowledgeable, and skilled group of officers.

I have been working hard to revitalize and improve CCII’s course content, including the workshop for Crisis Negotiations Techniques for the First Responders. I am grateful for Morley and Mary Lymburner of Blue Line Magazine for including the workshop in the Blue Line Police Expo, held at the Ajax Convention Centre. I had a full class, which included two members from the Calgary Police Service.

Tom Hart,



Volume 35

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