Yukon Weekly

Threats and bogus calls are tying up resources for Ottawa police

Threats and false calls are tying up resources for Ottawa police

Key takeaways:

  • Fake calls and threats are sapping Ottawa police’s limited resources as they try to contain and end the 11-day “Freedom Convoy” protest downtown.
  • According to Deputy Police Chief Steve Bell, a threat was also made against Ottawa police headquarters on Monday morning.
  • Residents have chastised the police for the protest’s length and apparent lack of enforcement, allegations Sloly has denied repeatedly.

Fake calls and threats are tying up Ottawa police’s limited resources as they try to contain and eventually end the 11-day “Freedom Convoy” demonstration downtown.

At a special meeting of the Ottawa city council on Monday, Police Chief Peter Sloly stated that the Ottawa Police Services’ resources are severely strained. He requests 1,800 additional personnel, such as more than 1,700 officers and 100 civilians. 

Mayor Jim Watson and the chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, Diane Deans, have written to the federal and provincial governments requesting any additional police resources they may provide. The Ottawa Police Service has 2,100 personnel, including 1,200 officers.

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However, according to Sloly, some people make false threats to clog up police resources even more.

“We have people calling up in false messages, swatting messages too with us police operations center for aggressive, explosive IED events, gun events,” Sloly said. “An active investigation is underway south of the border to identify that.”

Swatting is the act of lying to the police and claiming that a major, life-threatening event is taking place at a typical location to attract a large number of resources to the location. It is frequently used to terrorize or intimidate people in the targeted area, resulting in fatalities.

A threat was also made against Ottawa police headquarters Monday morning, according to Deputy Police Chief Steve Bell.

“A danger to the physical building at 474 Elgin today did result in cooperation with American authorities as well as ultimately resulted in the arrest of a person from Putnam County, Ohio who initiated those threats,” Bell said.

Threats and false calls are tying up resources for Ottawa police
Threats and false calls are tying up resources for Ottawa police. image from iHeartRadio

Bell did not name the person or say whether charges had been filed, nor did he say whether the threat was made in response to or as a result of police actions surrounding the demonstration.

Residents have criticized the police for the length of the protest and an apparent lack of enforcement, allegations that Sloly has repeatedly denied. Supporters of the convoy have chastised the police for enforcing the law, particularly in the case of Saturday’s seizure of fuel as well as supplies in the parking lot of the Coventry Road baseball stadium, which became a staging area for protesters.

A bomb threat was made, the Putnam County Sheriff’s office told CTV News Ottawa over the phone, but they couldn’t provide any additional information.

On Jan. 28, the “Freedom Convoy” arrived in Ottawa, followed by a much larger contingent the next day. Hundreds of trucks have been left on the streets since then, as hundreds of protesters have refused to move the downtown core. 

Since the demonstration began, trucks have been sitting idle, and protesters have been honking their horns nearly nonstop, which Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson described as “tantamount to psychological torture.”

A judge issued a 10-day injunction to stop the honking, but it is unclear how it will be enforced.

Source: CTV News

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