Kingston Police 2022 annual report: ‘there is much work to do’

Kingston Police Headquarters. Photo via Kingston Police website.

Acting Chief of Police Scott Fraser submitted his first annual report to the Kingston Police Services Board this week, which included a budget deficit largely due to policing Queen’s University events and convoy protestors.

Fraser begins the report with his own message: “Looking back to 2022, we could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our dedicated sworn and civilian staff. As crimes increase and become more complex our officers are required to enhance their abilities to meet the demand. Officers are supported by civilian staff which permits officers to get on the road and perform their duties.”

Fraser stated that the statistics attached to his report “clearly identify that the Kingston Police were required to refocus their priorities to ensure community safety and security of property” and that demands on police to complete tasks for other agencies have grown significantly in the last several years.

It is “evident that there is much more work to do,” Fraser said. “We have begun to implement actions to achieve our identified Strategic Plan goals and will be reporting our successes and status in annual reports to come.”

Budget

The total net cost of policing for the 12 months ending December 31, 2022, was $43,959,858, compared to a budget of $42,661,005, resulting in a deficit of $1,298,853 or 3.04 per cent.

Table via Kingston Police 2022 report.

Operating expenditures for the 12 months ending December 31, 2022, were $49,028,710, compared to a budget of $46,829,928, providing an unfavourable variance of $2,198,782, according to the report.

Salaries and wages went over budget by $931,039.

Overtime costs of $1,855,000 exceeded the budgeted $1,093,000 by $762,000. This variance reflects:

  • $26,000 incurred supporting the freedom convoy protest, which will be recovered;
  • $83,000 incurred over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend that was not budgeted, compared to $2,000 recorded in 2021;
  • $87,000 incurred supporting four major incidents, including three homicides and a barricaded person during the first quarter;
  • $37,000 incurred during the slow roll protests through Kingston;
  • $102,000 incurred on one investigative project that is now complete; and
  • $409,000 incurred at Queen’s during the months of September and October.

Staffing 

The report provides many statistics on the staff makeup of the Kingston Police Force. As of December 31, 2022, Kingston Police had an authorized strength of 201 sworn officers, plus an additional 10 to backfill for long-term absences, for a total of 211.  At the time, there were also 61 full-time civilian employees and 28 part-time employees, for a total complement of 300 members.

Of sworn members in 2022, 81 per cent were male and 19 per cent female. Four per cent were of visible minority and one per cent were Indigenous. Among civilian members, 40 per cent were male and 60 per cent female, and 7.8 per cent visible minority. 

Across the service, there is a “vast array of languages known,” according to the report, including Serbian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, German, Hindi, American Sign Language, Greek, Polish, and Gujarati. 

The year 2022 saw the hiring of a total of 34 new employees: eight new sworn recruits, 10 experienced officers, and four full-time civilians and 12 part-time civilians. There were 13 retirements and eight resignations (two sworn and six civilian).
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Administrative Support

The report notes, “In the courts, we continue to move forward on making more use of technology and digitization. More and more evidence is being submitted digitally, which has reduced errors, increased delivery time, and cut down on officer time.”

In an effort to reduce strain on sworn officers, the report states that Special Constables are being used for more security details at the court houses and other areas where they are able to assist.

The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) underwent a change to the training schedule and logging of training to ensure they are completing the required hours to maintain their provincial status. According to the report, the ERU has received a new pole camera, and it served them very well at the last entry that they performed.

“More and more training opportunities are presenting themselves as we move away from the pandemic,” according to the report. “Our members are attending training at a rapid pace to ensure [they] have the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to serve the community.” For example, the report states that the Alternative Response Unit (ARU) “continues to be an ever-improving asset, handling calls for service requiring follow-up, and has greatly reduced the strain on patrol officers.”

Patrol and Communications 

“In 2022, members in our communications centre answered a total of 62,987 911 calls for service,” the report states. “This is an increase of 6.51 per cent as compared to 59,137 in 2021.”

Patrol officers work under the Community Outreach and Support Team and Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team models, the latter of which partners a mental health worker from Addiction and Mental Health Services — Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (AMHS-KFLA) with a uniformed patrol officer. The report states that these program models are having a positive impact in these areas, as 2022 saw a decrease from 2021 in mental health apprehensions by nine per cent and by 22 per cent in mental health calls for service. 

Officers within the Patrol Division assisted in expanding the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team, Carbine Operator, Incident Command, and Emergency Response Unit Alternate Programs. Six additional officers received training to be deployed with a mental health worker; four additional officers were certified as carbine operators; two officers received training and designations as Incident Commanders; and two officers completed the Basic Tactical Operators Course and are now alternates for the Emergency Response Team.

Operational Support 

Officers in the Community Oriented Response and Engagement Unit (CORE) attended a number of events in the community through 2022, according to the report. Equity, diversity, and inclusion were a large focus, with the launch of the Hate Crime Initiative. Online reporting options were introduced, along with education being provided to the community on the resources available. 

In conjunction with attending the Ontario Media Relations Officers Network conference held in Kingston, the Kingston Police media response and process were “revamped to ensure consistency,” according to the report.

A new approach to planned large gatherings was introduced via Public Liaison Teams for Queen’s Homecoming and “faux” Homecoming ,which saw great success, the report states. 

Investigative Services 

The Criminal Investigations Division dealt with an unprecedented number of homicides in 2022 (six) and continued to work on a double homicide from late 2021. The report states that all eight were solved.

The report summarizes that Sex Assault and Person crimes also absorbed military police sexual assault investigations as mandated by the government. Special Services experienced high success in combating local and transient drug dealers, according to Fraser’s report. 

The Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario granted multiple projects funding, according to the report, assisting in the ongoing efforts to deal with the opioid crisis. 

Fentanyl and the gun violence that accompanies the illegal narcotics trade continue to be a focal point of concern, according to the report. Major drug networks from the Greater Toronto Area and beyond were identified, investigated, and taken down, resulting in the seizure of millions of dollars of drugs and currency while interrupting the supply of deadly drugs to our community. 

As well, the report states that Criminal Investigations and Special Services collaborated on many cases with overlapping areas of concern.

According to the report, the combined efforts of these units proved effective, and as staffing levels increase and roles expand, enforcement of a proactive nature is increasing. For example, Kingston Police joined the efforts to quell gang and gun violence by seconding officers to the Guns and Gangs and Provincial Weapons Enforcement Units. As well, the report states they also continued to support the Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Unit, the Penitentiary Squad, and the Cannabis Enforcement Unit “in order to do our part province-wide and bring these resources to assist with local crime issues.”

Public Complaints 

According to the report, 2022 saw 56 public complaints made to the Professional Standards Bureau from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). This number represents a decrease of four complaints (or 6.6 per cent) for the same reporting period in 2021. Two matters were seen before Police Services Act disciplinary hearings. Only four complaints remain unresolved.

Calls for Service 

The report notes, “In 2022, our officers responded to 46,407 calls for service, and this increases to 52,042 when you add in the online reports. Our front line was dispatched to 28,259 calls for service in 2022 as compared to 29,302 calls for service in 2021.”

In 2022, the report states that the communications centre answered a total of 62,897 calls to 911, as compared to 59,137 in 2021. 

Crime Statistics

The report cautions that these statistics “represent a snapshot in time at year-end for each year” and “coding is subject to change, as it relates to investigations that are ongoing.” For example, through investigation it may be determined that an allegation is unfounded or that the classification must be re-coded from “Criminal Harassment” to “Harassing Phone Calls.”

Table via Kingston Police Annual Report for 2022.

Property Audit

According to the reportm a property audit was performed and concluded that all property collected, preserved, and controlled by the Property Stores Unit of the Kingston Police is done so in accordance with Kingston Police policies, and complies with the rules and regulations of the Board and Police Services Act. The storage of the property was found to be organized and accurate, and the staff assigned to this unit were knowledgeable and efficient.

Use of Force

A review of the Use of Force Statistics for 2022 indicated that members of the Kingston Police submitted 75 reports (41 individual reports and 34 team reports) for the use of force in 66 separate incidents. In 2021, 110 reports (71 individual reports and 39 team reports) were submitted in 91 separate incidents. 

Members are required by law to complete a Use of Force Report whenever they: draw (display) a handgun or carbine in the presence of a member of the public, excluding a member of the police force, while on duty; point a firearm at a person; discharge a firearm; use a weapon other than a firearm on another person; or use physical force on another person that results in an injury requiring medical attention. After supervisor review and approval, Use of Force Reports are examined by the Training Unit.

The full Annual Report for 2022 can be viewed online.

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