Commissioner's Directive

Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents

AUTHORITIES

PURPOSE

APPLICATION

Applies to staff involved in the control, deployment and use of chemical and inflammatory agents and excludes Community Correctional Centres

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Director General, Security, will:
    1. ensure approved chemical and inflammatory agents are listed in the Security Equipment Manual
    2. provide the regions with direction on the proper storage, handling and use of chemical and inflammatory agents in compliance with the Situation Management Model (see CD 567 - Management of Security Incidnets)
    3. ensure that training in the use of chemical and inflammatory agents is developed and maintained.
  2. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Operations, will ensure that the institutions are provided with support on the storage, handling and use of chemical and inflammatory agents in compliance with the Situation Management Model.
  3. The Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure that Correctional Officers/Primary Workers are trained in the use of chemical and inflammatory agents and recertified in accordance with the National Training Standards
    2. ensure procedures are in place for the safe storage, handling and deployment of chemical and inflammatory agents, including a locally developed control log which will:
      1. identify the designated physical posts to which chemical or inflammatory agents will be issued
      2. identify the post assignments for which Correctional Officers/Primary Workers will be issued inflammatory agents
      3. document the weight of the agents at time of issuance and upon return
    3. only authorize the issuance of MK3/MK4 inflammatory agents to Correctional Officers/ Primary Workers, to be worn on their person, who are working in direct contact with inmates at, or from:
      1. maximum security institutions, including maximum security units of clustered sites
      2. medium security institutions, including medium security units of clustered sites
      3. multi-level security institutions, not including minimum security units located outside of the institutional perimeter, or Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge
    4. ensure the MK9 inflammatory agents are only authorized for:
      1. non-routine carrying following a threat risk assessment for periods of up to 24 hours
      2. placement on control posts to be available for issue for responding to incidents
      3. placement on control posts for issue to officers supervising inmate movement outside of living units, for the duration of the movement, in maximum security male facilities
      4. movement control officers or non-unit based designated first responders as identified by institutional standing orders in maximum security male facilities
    5. develop a process for a health care assessment of all inmates in order to identify those inmates for whom the use of chemical or inflammatory agents is not recommended or where caution must be used
  4. The Deputy Warden will ensure:
    1. post orders identify storage locations of chemical and inflammatory agents
    2. inflammatory agents that are used for routine issue are centrally located to facilitate efficient issue, tracking and accounting.
  5. The Assistant Warden, Operations, will ensure a process is in place for regular reviews of sign-out and sign-in logs.
  6. The Security Maintenance Officer or equivalent will:
    1. enter all chemical and inflammatory agents in the Security Equipment Inventory, recording weight, location, and post assignment
    2. inspect and weigh all inflammatory agents monthly
    3. weigh the canister and document the amount used for use of force reporting following every use of chemical or inflammatory agents
    4. dispose of, or place for training use only, any MK3, MK4 360, or MK9 that have been used, or any MK4 that has dropped below 100 grams total weight.
  7. All Correctional Officers/Primary Workers carrying inflammatory agents on their person will:
    1. ensure it is worn in the prescribed manner
    2. inspect and weigh the canister issued to them and document the weight in the control log. Any damage, malfunction or use of the OC must be reported immediately to the Correctional Manager and a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) must be completed
    3. ensure that at any time a MK9 is drawn from a control post for reasons other than those specified above, a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) is completed.

PROCEDURES

Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents

  1. Staff will respond to incidents pursuant to the Situation Management Model described in Annex B of CD 567 – Management of Security Incidents.
  2. Only chemical and inflammatory agents listed in the Security Equipment Manual will be used.
  3. Every use of chemical or inflammatory agents is considered a use of force and is to be managed according to applicable policy.
  4. A use of force is deemed to have occurred when a chemical or inflammatory agent is intentionally aimed at an individual or dispensed to gain compliance.
  5. Except in emergency situations where a delay would result in bodily harm or jeopardize the security of the institution, a health care professional will be consulted before chemical or inflammatory agents are used to ensure that the inmate has no medical condition that would be aggravated by the application of chemical or inflammatory agents.
  6. Staff will not conduct a spray test prior to use.
  7. The amount of chemical or inflammatory agents used will be limited to what is necessary and proportionate to bring situations under control.
  8. When chemical or inflammatory agents are used, decontamination procedures pursuant to Annex B are to be completed as soon as possible.
  9. Following the use of chemical or inflammatory agents, a health care professional will examine as soon as possible the inmate and other affected persons.
  10. Following an incident and once the situation is under control, the Correctional Officer/Primary Worker will deliver any canister that has been used to the Correctional Manager in charge.
  11. The Correctional Manager will ensure used OC units are secured for retrieval by the Security Maintenance Officer.
  12. All staff involved in the incident will complete a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) prior to leaving the institution.

Commissioner,

Original signed by:
Don Head

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITION

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 567 - Management of Security Incidents
CD 567-1 - Use of Force

DEFINITIONS

Chemical agent: a chemical-based agent designed to debilitate or incapacitate a person or persons. The active chemical agent currently employed is Ortho-Chlorobenzal Malononitrile (CS), a chemical tearing agent that causes a burning sensation of the eyes, nose, throat and moist skin, and with inhalation causes headache, dizziness, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.

Health care professional: an individual registered or licensed for autonomous practice in the province of practice. Individuals must operate within their scope of practice and competence. Examples include Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, Mental Health Nurses, and Clinical Social Workers.

Inflammatory agent: an agent designed to cause temporary burning sensation and inflammation of mucous membranes and eyes leading to involuntary closure. The active ingredient employed in current inflammatory agents is oleoresin capsicum (OC), an organic agent derived from hot peppers. Measured by active capsaicin content, issued MK3 and MK4 duty aerosols contain 0.2%, while MK9 contain 1.3%.

ANNEX B

DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES

 

Person

Area

Chemical agent (CS)

  • Removal from the immediate area
  • Instructions to remove glasses or contact lenses and to avoid rubbing eyes
  • Removal of contaminated clothing
  • Shower, and wash the contaminated skin and flush the eyes for at least 15 minutes
  • Exposure to fresh air
  • Change of clothing
  • Observe for difficulty breathing
  • Examination by health care practitioner
  • As these products are generally for outdoor use only, no major decontamination is typically required. If a residue or remnants of powdered agents remain, they can be cleaned with water.
  • If used indoors, open doors and windows where possible and use fans to remove airborne CS.
  • A commercial water vacuum should be used when cleaning up dry powder, while other surfaces can be cleaned with commercially available detergents.
  • Empty casings should be removed and disposed of promptly.
  • Fabrics directly exposed to CS should be dry-cleaned.
  • Any food items other than those in cans should be discarded.

Organic inflammatory agent (OC)

  • Removal from the immediate area
  • Instructions to remove glasses or contact lenses and to avoid rubbing eyes
  • Removal of contaminated clothing
  • Shower, and wash the contaminated skin and flush the eyes for at least 15 minutes
  • Exposure to fresh air
  • Change of clothing
  • Observe for difficulty breathing
  • Examination by health care practitioner
  • In instances where there is a potential for large concentrations of OC, such as the deployment from a MK46, grenade, or 40mm munitions, the ventilation system should be closed or reversed prior to deployment where possible.
  • Following use, ventilate the area by opening doors and windows where possible. Use of fans to increase ventilation will accelerate decontamination.
  • Surface decontamination can be completed by washing with water or a damp cloth, dry OC dust can be cleaned with a wet/dry vacuum.
  • Ensure spent canisters or casings are removed and disposed of promptly.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.