Many of our members will remember the unfortunate incident in December 2020, in the Pacific Region, when an inmate escaped during an outside medical appointment in Abbotsford, BC. The incident was investigated by the local police department regarding the discharge of a firearm and after an investigation lasting nine months, we were informed that there was no support for criminal charges.
Despite the conclusion of the police file, CSC management has taken the easy way and severely disciplined the officer for a period just prior to Christmas until mid-April 2022, for discharging his firearm at a moving target. Aren’t the majority of escapes from escorts involve a moving target?
In a recent adjudication, CSC argued that an officer should have used lethal force to stop an inmate assault. It seems clear from the adjudicator’s decision that the inmates were moving. CSC has proven again that they say one thing and then contradict themselves whenever it suits the organization. This places Correctional Officers in the precarious position of being disciplined no matter what they do in these types of situations.
CSC, through their year-long investigation of a shoot or don’t shoot decision that took mere seconds to transpire, have now made it clear that officers will be considered negligent if shooting at a fleeing inmate and even went so far as to say if it is anything beyond 25 meters, that an officer cannot even fire at a stationary inmate (imagine the discipline that would be handed out if an officer fired at a stationary inmate…they would say he had given up and there was no reason to fire!). They are justifying severe discipline by saying officers are not trained in either shooting at moving targets or beyond 25 meters.
So, instead of ramping up its training to bring it on par with law enforcement agencies and ensuring that Correctional Officers can do the absolute best job possible, CSC management are now hiding behind the fact that they offer zero firearms training in situations of inmates running from an escort. The CSC is using its own failure on training in this absurd decision is telling.
UCCO-SACC-CSN will be fighting this decision and pushing for adequate training to be provided. An attack on one of us, is truly an attack on all of us who do this job.