May 16, 2023 

Vancouver, B.C. — Following is a Letter to the Editor from Chris Voller, Pacific/North Region Director, National Police Federation, in response to a May 16, 2023 story in the Cowichan Valley Citizen:

Re: Police prioritize de-escalation, but must act decisively to stop imminent threats  

A recent open letter to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP speculating on events surrounding a police incident now under independent investigation demands a response on behalf of all the RCMP Members passionately and professionally serving the Cowichan community and beyond. 

RCMP Members are highly trained in de-escalation and that is always their preferred and focused course of action. When force is absolutely required to protect the public or other officers resulting in injury to a subject, an independent investigation is triggered. 

In B.C., these incidents are referred to the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C., and it is critically important to allow their work to unfold without interference, speculation, or sensationalized accusations in the media or elsewhere.  

Across Canada, Members of the RCMP respond to an average of 3 million calls every year (or 8,000 calls per day), with any use of any force occurring in less than one-tenth of one percent of all interactions. 

Every day, RCMP Members and all police put their lives on the line in the name of public safety. This often leads to physical and psychological trauma for the officers and their families, and yet they continue to carry out their duties with professionalism, courage and dedication even under scrutiny and following the recent spate of police murders across Canada. For that, they deserve our thanks and respect. 

Chris Voller 
Pacific/North Region Director, NPF 

About the National Police Federation: 

The National Police Federation (NPF) represents ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally. It is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada and second largest in North America. We are focused on improving public safety in Canada for our Members and all Canadians by advocating for investment in policing and other related supports and services. This includes calling for required resourcing, equipment, and supports to enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada. 

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