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U of T report finds police de-escalation training inconsistent across Ontario

The officer who apprehended the man suspected of killing 10 people in the Toronto van attack has been praised for his de-escalation tactics (photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

The police officer who carried out a no-force arrest of the man accused of killing 10 people, including a University of Toronto student, in the North York van attack has been praised for the way he handled the situation.

But according to a report by U of T researchers commissioned by the Ontario government, de-escalation training, which was employed by Const. Ken Lam during the arrest, is inconsistent across the province.

“Based on research, we recommend a paradigm shift in policing: a movement away from a focus only on weapons and tactics to a focus on the individual officer,” the report says, quoted by the Toronto Star.

The report, led by Judith Andersen, an assistant professor of psychology at U of T Mississauga, recommends reviewing the current curriculum of the Ontario Police College as well as standardizing and increasing police training around de-escalation in Ontario.

Dorijan Najdovski, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, told the Toronto Star that the report will be considered when addressing changes to the police training curriculum.

Read the Toronto Star article