CACP Statement: Release of Violent and Repeat Offenders on Firearm-related Charges
12/30/22 - 12/30/27
Click here to download a copy of this CACP statement.
December 30, 2022
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) supports the statement issued by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) calling for legislative reforms, including the bail process involving violent repeat offenders and violent firearm offences.
The issue of criminal acts perpetrated by such individuals is a national issue that has been a concern for police leaders since at least 2008, when CACP members approved resolution 2008-09 on Chronic Offenders. Over the past few years, police leaders have been actively advocating for legislative, social and systemic changes related to firearms, mental health, justice efficiencies, intimate partner violence, serving Indigenous and racialized communities, and more. However, the tragic deaths of several police officers as well as the harm inflicted on numerous other Canadians in recent months are a stark reminder that we now need to increase our focus on the issue of violent and repeat offenders as well as the bail process.
As we mourn the tragic passing of Constable Pierzchala, the criminal justice system’s limitations and ineffective management of chronic and prolific offenders is painfully obvious. Police leaders are calling for systemic changes to the justice system to strengthen the support for law enforcement and to ensure greater alignment between the efforts of the police, prosecutors, judges, and correctional services.
The CACP reiterates that the right for the public and our officers to be protected from the criminal behaviours of violent and repeat offenders, particularly those charged with firearm-related crimes, must be given far greater weight than is currently the case when bail and sentencing matters are considered.
The current situation is frustrating and dangerous for police officers who see the very real impact that these criminals have on the perception and actual public safety of Canadians across the country. The CACP echoes the OACP’s call for justice multi-sector partners — government, law enforcement, and justice groups — to collaborate, at the appropriate time, in order to eliminate the preventable harm and senseless tragedies attributable to violent and chronic offenders.