Senior Ottawa police officer says force should have taken intelligence about truck convoy more seriously

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A senior member with the Ottawa Police Service says the force should have taken the intelligence that prompt the Freedom Convoy protesters deliberate to remain previous two days more seriously.

Patricia Ferguson, appearing deputy chief of Ottawa police, made the admission whereas testifying earlier than the Public Order Emergency Commission on Thursday. The fee is learning whether or not the federal authorities’s choice to invoke the Emergencies Act to maneuver the protesters was justified.

One of the problems the general public inquiry has been digging into is whether or not Ottawa police shrugged off indicators that the protesters deliberate to entrench themselves.

On Wednesday, the inquiry heard that the Ontario Provincial Police’s intelligence bureau stated that in early January, it flagged {that a} mass anti-government protest could possibly be headed to Ottawa.

Evidence introduced on the fee additionally confirmed that police and metropolis officers had obtained a warning from the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association that somebody from the Canada United Truckers Convoy had reached out trying to ebook resort rooms for at the very least 30 days.

But the Ottawa police have been beneath the belief the crowds would clear after the primary weekend.

“In hindsight, what would you have executed in a different way on this planning part,” requested fee lawyer Frank Au.

“I suppose we’d have given more credibility to the knowledge and the intelligence telling us there was a faction that [they] have been planning on staying for a for much longer time period,” responded Ferguson.

Patricia Ferguson of the Ottawa Police Service arrives to seem as a witness on the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Ferguson, who was in command of neighborhood policing on the time, stated the Ottawa police’s authentic contingency plan solely prolonged to Monday at midday.

They nonetheless did not have a brand new plan by Feb. 4,  every week after protesters and their autos had first rolled into the town, as a result of the force was “placing out fires” and coping with staffing, Ferguson testified. 

She stated main as much as the primary weekend, staffing on the Ottawa police was hindered by illness and depart.

The force was “on our knees,” stated Ferguson. 

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