Police Use of Force: Assessing Necessity and Proportionality

  • Kevin Cyr BSc, LLM (Osgoode Hall). Police officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).


This article seeks to clarify the limits imposed on police use of force. It argues that police use of force must be necessary, proportional and lawful. Police officers’ safety practice often leads them to act on mere suspicion and contradicts with the probability-based thinking required by law — there must be reasonable grounds to warrant the use of force. Therefore, this article proposes an alternative use of force model adopted by the Edmonton Police. The Edmonton model has been successful in guiding police officers to focus on objectively discernible facts to support their subjective beliefs to meet the threshold on the use of force.

How to Cite
Cyr, K. (2016). Police Use of Force: Assessing Necessity and Proportionality. Alberta Law Review, 53(3), 663. https://doi.org/10.29173/alr424