As of 3:00pm we're already over by an hour. We'll start to wind things down but will try our absolute best to answer any remaining questions and those in the future. Thanks for all the questions everyone, including even the difficult and strange ones. ~ Steve

As part of the Police Week theme of "Walk the Digital Beat...a New Era of Engagement" Kingston Police will be hosting its first 'Ask Me Anything' interview on Reddit. Media Relations Officer Constable Steve Koopman will be answering questions on what it is like to be an officer with a municipal police service in the province of Ontario.

Cst. Steve Koopman has been an officer solely with Kingston Police for 15 years. He grew up in the area, attending high school and then Queen's University. He spent his first four years in Uniform Patrol, then seven years as a Detective split between the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit and Major Crime Unit, where he worked on multiple homicides including the Shafia case at the Kingston Mills Locks. During this time he created the Social Media accounts for the Kingston Police, being one of the early adopters in Ontario for law enforcement agencies. Following that he was the Dangerous Offender Manager for two years before assuming the Media Relations position in 2012.

Crime Prevention Officer Bill Ross and the Community Services Unit supervisor, Staff Sergeant Lillian Walcer, will also be available, participating and assisting in answering any challenging questions.

Looking forward to the discussion!


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Comments: 192 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

gojeffcho17 karma

Hey, Steve! Breaking out my actual named account, which I never use. Great initiative on the AMA.

For the lulz: What's the most incredible/ridiculous/hilarious thing you've received via the social media channels you manage?

For srs: What's the hardest decision you've ever had to make as a police officer?

And because I said I would: one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses?

kingstonpolice22 karma

Ha, good to see you Jeff!

For lulz: Too hard to pick one! Just love how people feel they can be themselves with us and feel like they're not talking to a blue wall of corporate police speak. Their humour and personal experiences really come through.

For srs: Hardest and one of the most fear-inducing decisions was to run headlong into a treeline by Kingston Mills in the pitch black dark of night knowing an armed male had just run in there who had apparently forcibly confined a woman earlier in the evening. Tactically it would have been more intelligent to stay on the perimeter and wait for the tactical team to attend, but a fellow patrol officer had just bolted in there ahead of me. Even though I may have been walking into the barrel of this guy's gun I didn't want to leave my partner solo. And it was so tempting to want to light up the forest with my flashlight but knew I would then be a target. Long story short my partner and I both hunkered down, the suspect double-backed to the road, got away, but we tracked him down and arrested him a couple of days later.

Just because: have to go with the horse-sized duck. Our Use of Force options on our duty belt are more geared towards an individual. I don't have enough rounds of ammunition for 100 "attackers", the pepper spray would wear out quickly and it's hard to perform an arm bar technique on a miniature horse, whereas I think I could manipulate the duck's wings. ;-)

Dgauthier177 karma

What was the worst Aberdeen party you’ve had to shut down? What happened? How many officers were involved and how many people were arrested?

kingstonpolice5 karma

2005 was the year that "tipped" literally and figuratively. No matter your regular assignment or unit almost everyone is assigned to be in uniform and on the street. My station was Johnson at Aberdeen and we had so much trouble controlling the partygoers and keeping them off of Johnson St so other emergency vehicles like fire and paramedics could still get through. We first lost the sidewalk, then the one lane, even with 30-50 officers, but then our two mounted officers on horseback rode up the street and cleared it quite easily. Personally I made two arrests that night. It's not so much about arrests or tickets as keeping the peace and maintaining a safe environment.

thegaybashersmasher2 karma

At the time, as a student, I thought that party was pretty bad-ass. Looking back on it.... not so bad-ass... burnt cars, collapsing terraces which were holding way too many people.

PS - tell Officer Huttleston (spelling?) that he's a dude! One of the truly nice guys in your crew.... who I would never, ever try to fuck with.

kingstonpolice3 karma

JEFF?!?! Is that you 8-)

In all seriousness, thank you for the positive feedback.

  • Cst. Ross

pinkerbelle6 karma

What kind of saddle do you use on your moose?

kingstonpolice28 karma

Western style over English. Much more control.

throwaway23948254 karma

  • What kind of corruption exists in the KPD?
  • What measures does the KPD take to counteract corruption?
  • What's the worst Blue Wall of Silence situation you've seen during your time in the force?

Would love to hear from each officer on hand.

kingstonpolice9 karma

Preventing corruption in our department starts at the recruitment stage. We have a very strong recruitment process, with multi-tiered screening. This process allows us to hire the best of the best in our applicant candidates.

Internally, we have a great number of supervisors, which enforce a strict discipline and complaints procedure. We also have an independent civilian body, which reviews complaints against police. The Ontario Independent Police Review Directorate.

We recognize that in the past we have had officers that have broken the law, however, in all of these cases the officers have been held accountable in the courts, as well as having the media involved. We hope that the actions of these officers, don't tarnish the reputation of the vast majority, which want to serve our community well.

  • Constable Bill Ross

throwaway23948252 karma

I can't remember any public cases of police officers breaking the law - but I also haven't paid much attention to that side of news. Just to be clear, my question was not meant to be accusative, but it's something that's on my mind with recent RCMP corruption scandals. For what it's worth, while I distrust the RCMP and OPP, I've never distrusted Kingston Police.

Follow-on question: is transparency an important facet of KPD's accountability? What steps are being taken to increase transparency of KPD activities and spendings to the public?

kingstonpolice5 karma

Well, our outreach into social media, even holding this AMA are good examples of maintaining transparency. Officer's actions are accountable through the wearing of name tags, providing business cards on request, police cruisers being marked and numbered all point toward being accountable.

Officers are also subject to a very strict code of conduct, which contrary to what some people believe, is strictly enforced.

Transparency has to be maintained to remain a trusted organization. As far as our spending, the numbers are all accounted for through City Hall, and yearly when the budget is up for review.

Constable Bill Ross

Crayboff-6 karma

Maybe I'm a bit skeptical due to my time on the internet, but I've seen too many stories of police officers having arrest quotas and unjustly raiding houses and killing pets just because there's a suspicion of weed possession. I understand having not being able to discuss it beyond the standard corporate copy-paste response, but can you talk about the sort of issues we see frequently coming from cities like New York City and others.

kingstonpolice9 karma

There are over a million police officers working in the US and Canada. With social media, the internet, the proliferation of cell phones etc. If one officer makes a mistake, the information is available to the world in seconds.

In my opinion, it's unfair to say "well the police in city XYZ are all corrupt, because an incident happened in city ABC last week".

Rarely do people take a video of the police doing a great job, and post it online. The end product is video after video online, of the police doing something that is perceived as wrong. You have to understand that on occasion, officers are required to make decisions EXTREMELY quickly, in the worst case scenarios. These decisions had better be immediate, and they had better be perfect.

In many cases these videos show half of the story, and the police are doing things that they've been trained to do. Sometimes seeing an officer use force on someone or something, can be shocking to see. It immediately garners a backlash of people that are unaware of the way officers train, or the laws, policies and procedures that are in place.

As far as quotas, I can tell you that there is an expectation that officers will enforce laws and do their jobs. If an officer was to go for a year and give out 2 tickets, that would be a cause for concern. To say that officers are sent out to lay as many charges as possible to bolster the city coffers is simply not the case.

As far as defending officers from specific cities in the US, I'm really unable to comment on their policies and procedures, and laws. There is certainly a general level of acceptable police behaviour throughout both of our nations.

I think that in the vast majority of cases, the officers are doing their job properly.

  • Constable Bill Ross

auxilary0 karma

Certainly we understand that there are a good number of great cops out there, no arguing that. But when I have only had a run in with cops 3-4 times in my entire life, each in a different city and for different reasons, and every one of them has been a total asshole.

I can chalk a lot of their crappy attitudes up to having to deal with some of the most messed up people day in and day out. I get that. But police officers routinely telling me that I cannot film them in public spaces, or just being a complete asshole from beginning of our interaction to end for interactions starting from the most mundane of situations, I don't buy it that you guys are the victims here of not enough good press being posted online.

kingstonpolice1 karma

Officers are acutely aware that they are in public, and are subject to being recorded. People are welcome to videotape a public place as much as they want, however, if you are getting close to the scene of a police investigation, then you are interfering in it.

I wasn't involved in any of your incidents, so I have no idea what happened.

There seems to be a culture these days of getting out a video camera every time an officer is doing something on the street and waving it in their face. It is sure to be met with some level of annoyance. If you feel it's your civic duty to videotape the police, stand away from the incident so as to remain uninvolved in it, and film away.

If you were in your workplace and someone suddenly started videotaping what you were doing, and asking what you were doing and why you were doing it etc. It'd get annoying pretty quick.

Many of these occurrences happen with the hopes of getting a negative response, in which case, it's being done for the wrong reasons.

  • Constable Bill Ross

mijour4 karma

Should Pot be legalized ??

kingstonpolice3 karma

Ha, you're asking a political question of a lowly Constable. I am representing my organization today, so because of that I will have to back out and state that the only opinion that truly counts is that of my Chief. Don't take this as my endorsement for legalization, simply that this is one question I can't provide an answer to. It's up to the politicians with input from such police-represented organizations like the OACP (Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police) and the CACP (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police). Sorry I couldn't give you a straight answer.

Xdivine4 karma

Are there any situations you've found yourself in that you couldn't help but laugh at? If so, do elaborate :D

kingstonpolice21 karma

Absolutely. While this job certainly has its serious moments, part of what makes it bearable is the levity and humourous situations you find yourself in. One night I was dispatched to a slightly shady motel room where an individual was high on drugs. They desperately needed to show me something, and proceeded to get down on their hands and knees in the corner of the closet and call out to Whoopi Goldberg, who apparently was hiding under the floorboards. We were able to get him help that night but had to laugh at the situation.

ByeByeCharlie2 karma

What is your favourite Thai food place in Kingston?

kingstonpolice6 karma

Have a history and therefore a preference for Phnom Penh. Also like Saigon Delight for Vietnamese.

strikerthedj2 karma

How tough was it as a Police Force during the Shafia investigation?

You had international media attention on our small city. How hard was it to balance sharing info the media without hurting the investigation?

kingstonpolice3 karma

Could talk about this forever, but have to try and keep it short. Let's just say we were so fortunate to have the right people in the right positions at the right time. Sometimes hurdles are not external but more internal and there can be struggles between ranks and units in the decision-making process. Our administration was completely supportive and they realized the size of this investigation. We had to balance what we were releasing to the media to what we knew and had to hold back for investigative purposes. Our experience during Shafia with the media was a good one. We felt they were respectful without being pushy. We knew they had a job to do, and we tried to meet their needs without compromising the investigation.

stratius2 karma

I've seen videos where if a police officer comes to your door, some police and lawyers say it's more beneficial to not say anything (as it may incriminate yourself through non-succinct wording/phrasing) without a lawyer present. I have a few questions about this, as a Kingston resident since laws vary from place to place. Doesn't this get in the way if you are a witness? If you want to come forward with information should you actively try to meet at the station with a lawyer? Would the city provide a lawyer?

  1. What are our rights, when at our living quarters if presented with an inquiring officer? We don't really get this stuff taught in schools.
  2. Does an officer need a warrant to search the premises, or extract someone from the house?
  3. What are our rights in public that we should be made aware of? After events like the Toronto G20 summit, people aren't even sure about these anymore.
  4. A more lighthearted question, what would you say is a good way for people to interact with officers (and maybe other public servants) on a more social level, and get to know them better? Are there events that cater to this kind of atmosphere? This AMA is a great start, obviously :).

kingstonpolice3 karma

  1. You always have the right to refuse to speak with the police. You certainly have the right to speak with a lawyer of your choosing, whether you are under arrest or not. Often times however, the police are attempting to get both sides of a story. If you refuse to cooperate with the investigation, you are essentially leaving only one side of the story for the officer to work with.

  2. An officer requires a warrant to enter a home, unless the officer is in fresh pursuit of someone, or exigent circumstances exist, where the officer believes that there is danger to life, or evidence, which would make getting a warrant impracticable.

  3. Your rights in public are all listed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The events at the G20 summit caused great consternation amongst members of the community. It should be recognized however, that the police were dealing with a very large number of protestors, with some of them being violent. We all saw the footage of property such as police cars and news vehicles being burned, businesses and buildings being set on fire or smashed up.

The people responsible for these acts were often times indistinguishable from the people who were there to protest lawfully. As with any event of that size, there was no doubt mistakes that may have been made from a law enforcement perspective. Any such occurrences will be investigated thoroughly by the courts, the OPIRD, and public inquiries.

The event was staffed mainly by Toronto Police Officers, and was supported by dozens of other forces. We are not privy to the complaints that were received, and wouldn't want to speak to any of them specifically.

  1. A good way to interact with officers is to be friendly, genuine and honest. There are numerous community events that police will be at throughout the year, particularly downtown Kingston during the summer months. Events such as the Blues Festival, the Poker Run, Buskers, Sheepdog trials, Princess Street Promenade, Rolling down the runway, Canada Day etc...

Members of the public are encouraged to talk with officers they see. The officers will be there to interact with the public, and will be more than happy to speak with you.

  • Constable Bill Ross

Dr4k7h1u52 karma

I'm curious to know if actual police services make use of specialist advisors, similar to popular TV shows like Castle, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, and Hannibal. If so, what they'd be looking for in the hiring process / consultation.

Is it the same kind of police foundations courses or is there a very different process?

Social media(facebook/twitter/reddit/skype/google+ is opening a greater potential for risk and for assistance when it comes to crime. What ways can regular citizens best use these forums to assist in your daily activities and what ways can they best protect themselves, as per your suggestions?

I know you probably get a lot of people trying to help and sometimes this can cause problems, case in point with wrong suspects being identified for the situation in Boston. Likely wanting to limit where/how information is filtered to your staff and general public. Is there anything you can suggest to people who would be interested in potentially working as a consultant or part of the department directly in these kind of ideals?

ex. high functioning empathic folks, computer hardware and social media experts or people who might not have the schooling background for typical police work.

Thanks in advance.

kingstonpolice5 karma

I picked out several questions in your message, I'll do my best to answer them all.

From personal experience amongst the officers here, I can't say that we've ever used a medium above and beyond sanctioned and scientific methods of police investigation.

As a police service, everything we do has to be accountable, and defendable. To use a extra-normal service would open our service up to criticism and potential liability.

As far as our hiring process, in addition to education, we consider a persons character, employment history, volunteerism and dependability. Numerous traits requirements have to exist for a person to be a suitable candidate for employment.

With regards to investigations and tips from the public, we would always corroborate information we receive. We would never work solely on information without confirming it first.

We do have civilians that work for our department, in a variety of capacities. Examples of this include our human resources coordinator, our information and technology experts, and crime analysts.

There are many employment opportunities, and persons interested are encouraged to visit our website at

  • Constable Bill Ross

Laserblaster2 karma

What will security be like for this years Queen's homecoming? I believe this is the first one since it's cancellation.

What percentage of costs do you think Queen's should cover for the additional support. I believe about half the arrests during Homecoming are non Queen's students.

kingstonpolice4 karma

We are still in the initial planning stages with regards to this years homecoming. From the officers perspective here, we would be unable to elaborate beyond that.

We look forward to meeting with our community partners, such as Queen's, to develop planning options in the future.

Unfortunately your question in regards to financial support is something that our Chief's office would discuss with Queen's administration.

As a front line officer, my focus is on making the event safe for all of those present.

  • Constable Bill Ross

jangs442 karma

What do you think of your new cruisers? I for one prefer the old crown vics.

kingstonpolice6 karma

Hard call. Most of the officers here loved the Crown Vics. They were spacious and the equipment seemed to fit well in them. While I can't speak technically they also gave a feeling of safety. However, there was mixed debate on rear wheel drive. The point is moot now that the Crown Vics are no longer being manufactured and we are forced to choose pretty much betwen Dodge and Ford. Ottawa has gone with the Fords while we have chosen the Dodge Chargers. They do look impressive but some officers feel the loss of interior space to be a disadvantage. When your office for a 12 hour shift is a car it's nice to feel comfortable in it. The debate is still out.

NotActuallyMyName2 karma

Having been a part of the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit, what is your perspective on TV shows like To Catch A Predator? Helpful or harmful?

kingstonpolice1 karma

Double-edged sword. It has certainly brought attention to the seriousness and proliferation of child abuse, and how the offender could be anyone. However, there are various criminology theories, including the one of the "rational mind". Are criminals (or subtypes) rational? Will the chance of being caught and publicly shamed act as a deterrent? Unfortunately I'm of the personal opinion the answer is no. They will continue to take the chance to feed off of their sexually deviant behaviour and addiction. These shows have the potential to drive these offenders deeper underground and make it more difficult to locate. They will also become more sneaky and technologically adept at the same time.

overkil62 karma

Thanks for doing this.

In 2005 Kingston Police were found to use racial profiling even though Kingston has a very small minority population. Is this still employed?

If so, why?

If not, why was it?

Edit: fixed link

kingstonpolice7 karma

The study was one of the first of it's kind, and there was a finding that persons of Native or African-American descent were more likely to be stopped by the Kingston Police than Caucasian people.

As a result of the study, members of the force received customer service and increased sensitivity training. I can honestly say, that in my 12 years of policing, I have never stopped or seen someone stopped simply because of their race.

To put the numbers in perspective however, to be outside "the norm", each officer would have only had to stop a handful of persons of Native or African-American descent. That was for the entire year.

People with education and training in statistics know, that when dealing with a relatively small sample population, the results are easily skewed, and are often times inaccurate. If a given minority group comprises a very small percentage of the population, to have only a few people in that minority group routinely experience contact with the police, that can greatly influence the numbers.

The Kingston Police take the matter very seriously, and are aware of the injury that this topic has caused, and can continue to cause between the community and the police. Racial profiling is not tolerated within our organization.

Kingston is an increasingly multi-cultural community, and as such, the Kingston Police are constantly striving to police it being both fair and beyond reproach.

  • Constable Bill Ross.

speedy_claxton1 karma


kingstonpolice5 karma

Legally you should be calling us or bylaw. You can only use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself if attacked. If the person is trespassing on your property you can advise them to leave. If they do not under the Trespass to Property Act you again can use as much force AS IS NECESSARY to remove them. However, we would recommend just calling us to attend and not put yourself at risk.

hillock651 karma

Is there or has there been a problem in Kingston with police abusing their powers? Not far from you in Ottawa there seems to be one law suit after the other for police abuse. How is it in Kingston?

kingstonpolice1 karma

As stated in above posts, we acknowledge that we have, and have had officers that act outside of the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. These matters are investigated by either our Professional Standards Office, or the OPIRD.

We know that we aren't perfect, however having said that I don't believe that we have a greater problem here, than in any other police service in Canada.

Im sure if you spoke with some people who live in Kingston who have had negative contact with KPF, they'd say that we were the worst police service in the nation. If you asked some people that live in city XYZ, about their service, they'd say XYZ is the worst.

At the end of the day, you have human beings, doing their best to solve the problems of other human beings. When you solve a problem, it usually leaves a bad taste with one of the parties involved. Officers also have to confront people about their behaviour on a daily basis. It's hard to do all this, and be popular with everyone.

Policing is an emotional job, and you can't please everybody. As a general guideline, the best practice is to do your best, be fair and care about people.

  • Constable Bill Ross

speedy_claxton1 karma


kingstonpolice9 karma

I've never personally had myself recorded to my knowledge, although I wouldn't doubt it's been done. No longer being in Uniform Patrol the likelihood is greatly decreased since I am no longer on the "front line". However, I would have no issue with someone recording me and we try and teach all of our officers that people have the right to do so in public, so long as they are not obstructing us. That means if you want to record or photograph an arrest, as an example, across the street with a telephoto lens, there shouldn't be an issue. However, if you come right up to the officer with a wide angle lens and almost get in-between him or her and the person being arrested, you could, and probably will be, arrested for "Obstruct Police". We will do our best to warn you first, but if you don't comply, be prepared to be charged. We are public servants and are publicly accountable. In this digital age we have to come to expect and accept being recorded in public. If we're doing our job properly we shouldn't need to worry. It's only if it's taken out of context, edited, manipulated, etc. that there would be a concern.

Gandee1 karma

If I wanted to get out of a speeding ticket, what is the most effective excuse I can give to you? What are the common excuse that you hear, that we should avoid saying?

kingstonpolice17 karma

Simply admit to it. We've heard every excuse in the book and it's almost insulting to hear these false appeals. We've heard I had to go to the bathroom, I was almost out of gas, I have a warm pie I didn't want to get cold, etc. I recall a male driver being especially rude and stating the all too familiar, "Don't you have anything better to do?". I then went over the radio to our dispatchers and asked if there were any calls in queue I should be attending. Right in front of the guy the female Communications employee sweetly answered the queue was empty. I gave the guy a look, he put his head down and he received his speeding ticket.

kingstonpolice2 karma

Officer discretion is always a "sticky" subject. I spent the first ten years of my career and had occasion to speak with many motorists that had committed Highway Traffic Act infractions.

From my perspective, a warning was appropriate where I felt someone had genuinely learned their lesson, and a warning would serve to reinforce that lesson just as well as a fine would.

I can also say, that when I stopped motorists for infractions, and was promptly told "where to go, and how to get there", I was less apt to issue a warning, as I felt that a warning would simply be met with further disregard.

To answer your question, there are no magic bullets to get out of tickets, but I hope my explanation was adequate

  • Constable Bill Ross.

Debataphile1 karma

What is your opinion on the leafs poor, poor game 7 performance?

kingstonpolice5 karma

Devastating. Thought they had it and then choked. However, it was a great series and the Leafs will come back next year a better team with all of that playoff experience.

Dgauthier171 karma

Do you find you have a particular "busy time of the year"?

kingstonpolice2 karma

With having a complete four season of weather in Kingston it can vary. Motor vehicle collisions increase with the icy weather, but in general most officers feel with the hot weather comes an increase in volatile situations.

bjornjamin1 karma

What has been your worst experience with a student and what has been your best?

kingstonpolice5 karma

The worst has been the feeling of entitlement. I recall being in Uniform Patrol and a post-secondary student parked in a handicapped parking spot outside of a bank downtown. It was mid-evening with tons of other parking spaces, including directly ahead of him. He had no permit and jumped right out of his vehicle with no discernible impediment. I stopped him midway between his car and the bank and confirmed he had no permit. I pleasantly asked him to move the vehicle to another spot. He had the gall to say, "It's only for a few seconds and there isn't anyone here who is handicapped that needs the space." I responded, "Oh, I forgot those that are handicapped don't go out at night" and then proceeded to send him on his way as he attempted to continue to argue with me how he didn't feel it was a big deal and didn't I have something better to do.

The best has been the support I've received personally from Queen's students and other post-secondary students during the Homecoming/Fall Even times, who take the time to personally approach me and say they appreciate what we are doing and understand we're there to keep the peace and not to be harsh on them. Additionally, part of the reason I think we've been so successful with social media in Kingston is the support and contributions from the student population.

ISawAMudcrab1 karma

Hi Steve! I was wondering, what made you want to become a police officer?

kingstonpolice2 karma

This is isn't as easy as it sounds. I didn't grow up as a kid always wanting to be an officer. In high school I was science-based and took Life Science my first year at Queen's University. However, while I had the ability I was lacking in direction with what I truly wanted to do. I think part of my decision comes from my father who was a Sergeant in the Air Force in Communications and Electronics. He took immense pride in his position and career choice, and I felt a parallel to serving, even though in a different capacity and uniform. I then switched over to a medial degree in Sociology and Psychology (similar content to a Criminology degree offered at other universities) knowing I wanted to become an officer at that time. The job is phenomenal: something different every day, feeling like you're making a difference, varying career paths within the same organization, amazing camaraderie, good pay, pensions and benefits. Being in a municipal police service offers one the stability for family life, knowing you aren't being forced to relocate. Lastly, Kingston Police is small enough everyone knows your name yet large enough to expand upon your level of skill, training and experience.

lilymander1 karma

Kingston Police are quite involved in Social Media - do you have any cases/situations that could not have been solved without the use of it?

kingstonpolice18 karma

Absolutely. We've now solved close to 20 cases as a direct result of the use of social media. The investigating officers or detectives have hit a brick wall with a particularly hard case where normally identity is an issue. Rather than just have 200 sets of eyes (the number of officers at KPF) looking to identify a suspect, we have the potential for tens of thousands assisting us. They have been as minor as theft cases to as big as those assigned to the Major Crime and Sexual Assault units. The response has been phenomenal from the community and we couldn't do it without them. I've said it before but this is a prime example of one of Sir Robert Peel's Principles of Policing, where he said, "The police are the public and the public are the police". Together we're making Kingston a safer place to live and work in.

wiegerthefarmer1 karma

How bad is texting and driving in Kingston? Do you pull over everyone you see? (I live in Kingston)

kingstonpolice6 karma

It is an issue in Kingston and one in which we're constantly struggling. Yes, if not on a priority call then we try to stop, speak and probably charge the person with "Drive handheld communication device". It carries a $155 fine but no demerit points. We are also trying to set a good example ourselves but still need to work on achieving full compliance. We are technically exempt but it is our belief few officers truly need to text and drive. They should do what we recommend to other drivers: pull over safely to the side of the road, don't block traffic, come to a full stop, then make the call.

Wasteofskin1 karma

Why is it that here in Kingston, the homeless get stopped from asking people for change, told to move on, and be on their way, and yet I get harassed almost every day by people with binders trying to get me to support any number of causes who are not ever asked to "move along"

Do these people have permits to ask for their donations, or would you find they are in violation of the safe street act in Ontario?

kingstonpolice2 karma

Good question. Under the Safe Streets Act it's actually not illegal to solicit, but only if done in an aggressive manner, near a financial institution, on the roadway, etc. The definition of solicit "means to request, in person, the immediate provision of money or another thing of value, regardless of whether consideration is offered or provided in return, using the spoken, written or printed word, a gesture or other means." That could apply to persons representing an organization or cause, but only if they are doing so in an aggressive manner. You are welcome to contact us if you feel this is happening. However, while some may be annoying, that doesn't necessarily make it aggressive or illegal. Link to Safe Streets Act here

Wasteofskin-1 karma

And who decides what is "aggressive"? having both been homeless and not in Kingston, I have been, and seen panhandlers, forced to relocate for no reason at all, by the KPD. For nothing more than being there, and asking for change.

These well dressed clean cut students ask for aid for their causes with more zeal and aggressiveness than most panhandlers in the city, and yet KPD walks by, without a second glance.

Who is held accountable for the clear choice to prosecute the poor for the same action as are allowed by these "legitimate beggars"

Edited, bad spelling.

kingstonpolice2 karma

The Safe Streets Act and common sense dictates what aggressive panhandling is.

For example, people may not panhandle near things like ATMs, public washrooms, intersections or roadways, etc.

If people are panhandling in contravention of this, they may be asked to move along by an officer, or ticketed.

Additionally, sometimes officers are called by shop keeps, complaining about panhandlers blocking the entranceways to their businesses. In cases such as this officers may also ask the person in question to move along.

As far as the aggressive aspect goes, panhandling is considered aggressive when a refusal to provide money is met with swearing, name calling, rude gestures or following of the citizen. These are all examples of aggressive panhandling.

  • Constable Bill Ross

Wasteofskin-1 karma

Would you say another example of "Aggressive Panhandling" would be persisting you listen to what they have to say, even if you have said "I'm not interested?" Because these "Legitimate beggars" are known in the city to be aggressiveness in nature. I see these students standing outside of banks all of the time, and police just wander by them. is it the clean clothes? the social stigma placed on the homeless?

Or could it be for the same reason that KPD rounds up homeless before the Buskers. Because we are a tourist town, and no one wants to see the homeless population?

kingstonpolice4 karma

Yes, continuing to ask for money after the person had said "no" would be aggressive panhandling.

As far as these "students" with "binders" supporting causes, I think that the intent of the person asking for money goes a long way. If people are asking for money to donate to a charity versus asking for money for personal reasons, I think there is a real difference there.

To say that the police "round up" the homeless just before Buskers is flat out not true.

  • Constable Bill Ross

jangs441 karma

Do you ever feel that you are short staffed at certain times of the day/year?

kingstonpolice2 karma

Adjustment to staffing levels is to be expected, dependent on the need and requirement for the diverse scenarios and events we have to deal with. Per capita I believe we actually are below the provincial average, yet we deal with approximately over 100 calls per day or 40,000 per year. Unique events can put a strain on us at times, but we do our best to handle it.

grimelines1 karma

What are the most prevalent street drugs in Kingston?

kingstonpolice4 karma

Crystal meth, crack cocaine, cocaine, AMA and marijuana are the ones we see most regularly.

Pand3m1c0 karma

How many recruits is the Kingston Police Service planning on sending to OPC in September and in 2014?


kingstonpolice1 karma

There are no plans to send any new recruits this fall and it would be premature to comment regarding 2014. We have a set number of officers to meet in strength, and that will be affected by such factors as retirement and attrition. However, we are always taking applications through our Human Resources office, so don't despair if you have an interest in joining KPF and we're not currently hiring.

omfgimsocool0 karma

So I have always believed that Constable is the classiest sounding thing one can be called. How do you like the moniker?

kingstonpolice8 karma

Personally, I like it. I like it a lot more than some of the things I've been called on this job 8-)

  • Constable Bill Ross

c_vilela0 karma

What is your relationship like with other forces (OPP, RCMP)? Are there jurisdictional conflicts? Real or perceived hierarchies? Recruitment/headhunting competition?

kingstonpolice1 karma

We maintain excellent relations with other law enforcement agencies, and I can honestly say I have never been aware of any "bad" relations or feuds.

KPF routinely works with other jurisdictions in joint forces projects. In those cases typically the "home team" will take the lead on investigations. Boundaries are very clear, as to where one force polices and where they don't.

For example, with the Shafia case, we used resources from numerous other departments. They were happy to offer the help, and we were glad to have it. As the incident had happened within our border, the investigation was ours, and we were obliged to take the lead on it.

As far as headhunting and recruitment goes, there is always some turnover with officers coming and going to and from KPF. We regularly hire officers that are experienced and were hired by another force. Conversely, we have had officers over the years leave KPF for opportunities elsewhere.

I can honestly say, that there are rarely hard feelings.

  • Constable Bill Ross

pixelly0 karma

Have you ever seen anything that has given you nightmares / that you will never forget while working in Kingston?

kingstonpolice4 karma

Have to be honest, I've seen some terrible things but feel they haven't negatively affected me in terms of recurring nightmares. The visions that stick in my head though are those from my time in the Major Crime Unit as a detective, where we investigated homicides, sudden deaths, suspicious missing persons, found human remains, etc. I've had to attend multiple child autopsies and being a father that is difficult to process. The pathologists are so professional yet it's still hard to see the scalpel come out.

487513300 karma


kingstonpolice2 karma

Thanks for the support! We'll see if this becomes another platform to consistently come back to and address new issues. For the time being this is the only one scheduled, but am sure we'll examine the success of it and whether we should return for Round 2.

hawkshaw0 karma

Where's your favorite place to get lunch in Kingston? (I'm planning a day trip there soon).

kingstonpolice1 karma

Wow, first hard question. What type of food are you interested in?

usernamedme0 karma

I am a 30 year old female Kingston resident. My only experience of blatant sexism toward myself came from an on-duty Kingston Police officer a few years ago. The experience was traumatic. My question is: What sort of impact would reporting the incident have?

kingstonpolice2 karma

If you mean impact in terms of negative consequences towards you from us, please believe me when I say it should have none. The officer would place additional risk and scrutiny on himself by attempting anything. Our local records, cruiser laptops, dispatches and even GPS locators in the cruisers all make us more accountable. If you have an issue please contact our Professional Standards office here.

ftprotocol0 karma

How do you feel about officers and their cruisers potentially being equipped with video cameras in the future?

kingstonpolice7 karma

Personally, I feel it's a double edged sword. It will take a lot of the "human element" out of policing. In instances where officers may have dealt with an incident more informally, a video camera may make officer discretion less common.

The PRDs would be excellent as far as evidence collection, and would serve to show the Courts, and public what we have to deal with on a daily basis. I feel that officers in the vast majority of cases are already doing their job appropriately.

Video cameras may make witnesses less likely to approach police, if they know that they are being video and audio recorded from the onset. I can't tell you how many times on the street, people have come up to me and given me an important piece of information, but wanted to remain anonymous. If a video camera was present, they may have been reluctant to do so.

PRDs would hold officers "extra" accountable for their actions, however, it would also hold the public just as accountable for their actions.... So when officers are dealing with members of the public that are experiencing something personal or private, there will now be a video recording of the entire event.

Officers on a regular basis deal with people experiencing tragedy, loss, grief, death and generally speaking the worst day of their life. If our society wants the police to video and audio record all of that, that will be a choice that as a society we will have to make.

  • Constable Bill Ross

WacksWallace900 karma


kingstonpolice1 karma

Typically we leave matters involving Military Personnel to the Military Police if it occurs on the base. If we are dealing with a soldier in the remainder of the City, we'd deal with them as we normally would.

As a courtesy to the Military Police, it is common practice to advise the Military Police that we had dealt with a soldier, so that they can proceed with their internal discipline procedures.

As far as things being "like the movies", I'm at a loss to think of one thing that we do "just like the movies".

  • Constable Bill Ross

bigpipes840 karma

Do you find you that Kingston officers have to be on their toes more so considering you house some of Canada's most violent criminals? Has your department ever had to deal with escaped prisoner or an outside attempt to break someone out? Do your officers undergo specific training to deal with prisoners outside of the normal police training?

kingstonpolice1 karma

In my opinion we do. I recall on multiple occasions interacting with someone without having the benefit of time to run their full history on CPIC. Some of have been extremely violent and had served large chunks of Pen time. Because of this the level of experience we obtain for being a midsize police service is high because of the diversity of individuals we deal with. Our tactical team and canine have trained for escaped inmates and we have detectives that work the OPP jointly in the Pen Squad. We also have a CCLO (Community Corrections Liaison Officer), Dangerous Offender Manager and a High-Risk Inmate Release Officer. I believe we are highly specialized in these areas because of the correctional institutions in and around the Kingston area.

firefighter_Bdawg0 karma


kingstonpolice2 karma

Although you've provided your side of the story, police investigations will get both sides of the story. When it's a matter of two people saying opposing things, police will be forced to rely on physical evidence that corroborates a persons story.

Typically, when a person makes a complaint of criminal harassment the police will investigate. When it is a relatively minor occurrence police will often file a report documenting the incident, and issue a warning to the primary aggressor.

The section can be found under section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada, and can be easily found online.

With regards to your second question, if a member of the community is unsatisfied with an investigation, they can always request to speak with that officer's supervisor.

There is also a complaints officer that takes community complaints and investigates them, or, members of the community can take the matter up with the OIPRD, which has been described elsewhere on this forum.

  • Constable Bill Ross

ThatGuy_There1 karma

I would also be very interested in a response to this question, and my follow-up:

Assuming firefighter_Bdawg has described these events accurately, has the Kingston Police Force responded appropriately at every step of the way? Why or why not?

If genders were changed in this story, would your opinion on the KPD's response remain the same?

kingstonpolice2 karma

Assuming that Bdawg has described everything accurately, he also stated that the problem still exists, that could result in further or continued police involvement. Personally, I am not aware of the case specifically, and wouldn't want to speculate.

That being the case, I wouldn't be able to comment further, in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation (should there be one).

As far as genders go, the Kingston Police do not make any distinction based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

  • Constable Bill Ross

GreatGilmore0 karma

You mentioned the recruiting process below.

What would you say is something a person can do for their application to stand out from the crowd above and beyond volunteering, related work experience, education, etc?

Also, is KPF planning on hiring officers in the near future?

kingstonpolice1 karma

We're always hiring but can't give a specific number. It's normally due to retirement and attrition at this point in time. You have to be extremely well-rounded, adaptable and show you have life experience that will translate well to this job. I believe the average age for a new recruit hire is 27 years. Don't become dejected if you have difficulty getting hired straight out of graduation. Having sat in on the hiring process once I think the big thing without giving away too much is be yourself. Show us your personality and be confident in your abilities and answers. I have seen some on paper who look like superstars but then in the interview are so bland, stone-faced, or lacking in personality that it's disconcerting. Like what we're trying to show here on social media, it's okay (actually preferred) to be human and still be an officer. Hope this helps.

slater9120 karma

Just want to say I lost my GPA under a car a few years ago and got it back because the kingston police tweeted saying someone called in and reported having it. Thank you for helping return my Golden Party Armour

kingstonpolice2 karma

How could we in good conscience keep someone separated from their GPA? ;-)

jokerboody0 karma

What is the most mentally taxing part of your job? How does it impact you and how do you deal with it?

kingstonpolice4 karma

There are several things that are mentally taxing. The nature of the job, shift work are all factors. As I'd stated in another post, in a lot of cases we are dealing with people on the worst day of their life. It's hard to deal with that for years, and not have it become emotionally draining.

Personally, I find dealing with unreasonable people to be very tiresome. As far as dealing with it, I try to maintain a game face and a home face. I make every effort to keep them separate.

nutwrinkles0 karma

Are you a fan of The Hip?

kingstonpolice2 karma

Absolutely. I grew up in Kingston and still remember rocking out in my dad's Oldsmobile Cutlass to New Orleans is Sinking, Fifty Mission Cap, Hundredth Meridian and more. I've seen them only twice in concert but both times were memorable (especially when they played at Fort Henry with Blue Rodeo opening).

Auroralost-2 karma

Hi! I am trying to write a mystery novel and have a few questions about procedure. So I have a few questions. 1) I've tried sending emails before hoping to find someone I can talk to, with no results. Is there someone who can help me? 2) When questioning suspects, do you separate them like in some old mystery novels, or have less formal conversations with several there? 3) Would you really tell a suspect not to leave town without notifying you? That's all I can think of right now.

kingstonpolice1 karma

  1. Emails can be sent to [email protected]. 2. Our preference is to separate not only suspects but also witnesses to ensure there is no contamination or collusion. 3. Rarely. We can advise but unless charged and on conditions we cannot force them to stay in town.