Ottawa police fired their weapons more last year compared to the year before, despite the number of times they took aim going virtually unchanged from 2007.

According to the Ottawa Police Service 2008 Use of Force Annual Report, officers took aim 214 times last year, pulling the trigger on 62 occasions.

However, only one incident, on Dec. 29, involved an officer firing at a person. All other incidents were to destroy dangerous or injured animals.

In 2007, officers took aim at individuals on 212 occasions, pulling the trigger 51 times.

Overall, the number of incidents of force reported by police officers has decreased about six per cent from 482 incidents in 2008 from 511 reported incidents in 2007.

Those numbers are based on officer reports that must be submitted whenever a firearm is discharged or displayed to the public; or whenever intermediate weapons, like batons, Tasers or weapons of opportunity are used; or when physical force is used resulting in injury.

Incidents where officers used electronic control devices (Tasers) more than doubled in 2008 to an eight-year high of 27, compared to 12 in 2007.

According to the report, front-line supervisors were issued ECDs in November 2007, and prior to this, only members of the tactical unit carried them. By the end of 2008, there were 130 front-line supervisors, 34 tactical officers, and three professional development centre instructors trained in the use of the ECD.


?The report stated that the increase in ECD deployments was reasonable given their increase in availability.?