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No use of force in over 99 per cent of calls for service

Last year Lethbridge Police responded to nearly 38,000 calls for service and 99.5 per cent were resolved without any use of force.

The 2023 use of force data was recently presented to the Lethbridge Police Commission.

A use of force report must be completed by an officer when any use of force other than cooperative handcuffing or escort techniques are used, there’s an injury to the officer, subject or bystander, a firearm or less lethal weapon is displayed, any accidental discharge of a firearm or less lethal weapon and any use of force that requires notification under the Police Ac to the Director of Law Enforcement. The written reports are then reviewed through the chain of command to evaluate current training, identify any issues or trends that could be addressed through additional training and provide oversight to ensure the officer’s actions were reasonable and aligned with LPS training, policies and provincial guidelines.

The 0.5 per cent of cases where force was used involved 217 subjects. There were no fatalities and in the vast majority of circumstances no visible injuries. Of the subjects involved, 173 did not sustain any injuries, 20 sustained minor injuries that did not require treatment, 23 sustained injuries that required treatment and none required hospitalization. In 2023, there were 12 officers who were injured.

All LPS officers receive comprehensive training in verbal communication, de-escalation and disengagement techniques, incident assessment and threat identification as well as use of force techniques. When officers respond to a call they’re trained to assess the situation and subjects involved, re-assess as the matter evolves and in most cases the use of de-escalation and disengagement techniques to help gain the benefit of time and options enables a resolution that does not involve any use of force or result in injuries.

No firearms were discharged in 2023. The most common use of less-lethal force options involved the deployment of police service dogs and drawing or pointing a Conducted Energy Weapon (taser) or sock guns.

In 2023, 78 per cent of the cases where force was used involved subjects who were perceived as being agitated, intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, having a mental health condition or being in a state of crisis. 19 per cent had access to weapons or weapons were reported to dispatch and only three per cent were perceived to be in a ‘normal’ state.

LPS currently has two Police and Crisis Teams (PACT), that pair an officer and a mental health therapist to better serve high-risk individuals and those with chronic issues, and all officers receive ongoing training to help them respond effectively to calls involving individuals with mental health concerns. The Service also uses the HealthIM digital platform that provides officers with a pre-response safety briefing and helps support their assessment on whether a person should be transported to a designated facility for evaluation.

LPS also conducts scenario-based training that focusses on emergency response to active threats.


Lethbridge Police Service
135 1 Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0A1

Non-Emergency Phone: 403-328-4444
General Inquiries Phone: 403-327-2210
Email: General Inquiries
(not monitored 24/7)

Hours for public access:
Monday to Friday - 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
Closed weekends and statutory holidays



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