Ont. police to review procedure after gun missing
Police in Kitchener, Ont. said it is too early to speculate whether an officer who misplaced his full-duty kit bag, which contained a gun, will be reprimanded for the incident.
"Naturally we are going to have a comprehensive review and look at our practices, polices and procedures," Insp. Bryan Larkin of the Waterloo Regional Police told Canada AM on Friday.
Police continue to search for the undercover officer's bag that went missing during a drug investigation near Kitchener Collegiate Institute on Thursday.
Larkin maintained this incident will act as a benchmark to ensure officers in the area are following protocol up to national standards.
"We have an obligation to our community to review our practices, how we deploy our plain-clothed officers and naturally those are things we will be doing to ensure this will not happen again and we can prevent this in the future," Larkin said.
The school was locked down on Thursday just after 1 p.m. ET in an effort to retrieve the full-duty kit bag, which contained a loaded gun, duty belt, pepper spray, baton, police radio and handcuffs.
"Our biggest concern is that we have a pistol with ammunition that has gone stolen and is in the community," he said.
Larkin explained police requested to have the school locked down and the students evacuated by individual classes to ensure their safety.
Students were searched and questioned as they were let out of the school.
A canine unit also conducted a grid search of the area.
"Once the school was empty we actually enlisted the assistance of the Canadian Border Service Agencies. They had four canines come up that specialize in firearm detection and we then searched the school with the canines," Larkin said.
Larkin explained the gun was in the bag, as opposed to on the officer, in order to maintain anonymity for the officer.
Two plainclothes police officers had set the bag down just outside 812 King St. W. on Wednesday around noon and were then alerted to some activity across the street.
"The officer had crossed the street and realized immediately that he had left the duffel bag behind on a grassy knoll and returned within 15 to 20 seconds and the bag had been stolen, Larkin said.
"Naturally then, creating a very serious community issue for us," he added.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything to come forward.
"The reality is that the person who decided to steal the bag may not even know the contents,'' told The Canadian Press.
"We're urging them to come forward and return the equipment."
With files from CTV Southwestern Ontario and The Canadian Press