Kentville Police Service.
Investigators are in Kentville this afternoon in response to an incident that has been reported to the Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT).
Shortly before 7 a.m. on May 23, Kentville Police received a 911 call from a 31-year-old male who works at a business in the Kentville Industrial Park. Upon arrival, officers concluded the circumstances justified placing the man in custody and taking him to hospital under the provisions of the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act. A struggle ensued, during which time the police used a conducted energy weapon, more commonly known as a taser.
The man was placed into custody and taken to the Valley Regional Hospital. While there, it was discovered that he had suffered a fracture in his leg.
As a result of that injury, Kentville Police contacted SiRT who have assumed responsibility for the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s arrest.
Ron MacDonald, director of the province’s independent team, says that while he believes there have been a few files involving Kentville Police in the past, this is the first incident that has warranted a full investigation.
The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of MacDonald, an independent civilian director.
The team can independently begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public.
The man who was arrested was kept in hospital initially, but MacDonald believes that “may be more related to his mental health than his physical health,” adding that the man may have been released from medical care by now.
Members of the SiRT were on the scene May 23 and were hoping to speak to witnesses. They are also hoping to speak to other witnesses, who can call SiRT at 1-855-450-2010.
“Anyone who may have seen this, we’re hoping they will contact us,” MacDonald said.
The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.