In light of Sunday’s shooting that took one man’s life, Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) have released a statement commenting on the violence over the past six months and calling on local governments for more action to combat mental health crisis management.
In the statement released Monday night, VCPU expressed their support for the VicPD officer who discharged their weapon and condolences to the family of the deceased man.
“Tragically, a man died in yesterday’s incident. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased man,” said VCPU Union Spokesperson, Matt Waterman
“We have confidence our members have acted appropriately in this incident and believe the investigation will support that.”
The statement also comes in light of the barrage of incidents that have risked VicPD officers safety in the past year.
For the second time in six months, VicPD have discharged a weapon and in the past month, several officers have been assaulted.
VCPU expressed their frustration with municipal and provincial officials, calling on them for better tools to address mental health and crisis management.
“The VCPU is not happy with the proverbial ‘revolving door’ that seems to be increasing the likelihood that people in crisis are not getting the support they need,” Waterman said.
“We continue to call for more support from municipal and provincial officials to address the challenges related to mental health that are greatly impacting our community.”
VCPU named several incidents in which officers have either been assaulted or appropriate crisis management support were lacking, some of which include a woman randomly attacking a 5-year-old boy, an officer seriously assaulted in Banfield Park, and two VicPD officers injured in an encounter with someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
On Sunday, September 12th, officers on scene attempted to de-escalate a situation with a man who had just stolen from a liquor store at Uptown Shopping Centre.
According to reports, the man held a knife to his own throat before exiting the business.
Officers on scene attempted to de-escalate the situation with the man until around 11 a.m., when an altercation occurred.
This resulted in a VicPD officer eventually shooting the armed man.