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Police associations will ask for changes in the law

Some of Canada's largest police associations say they are joining forces to identify the root causes behind the killings of five police officers in the past four months.

The Canadian Police Association, the Ontario Police Association, the Ontario Provincial Police Association and the Toronto Police Association say they are joining forces to examine the issues at play and say they will review judicial and public policy frameworks, including bail and sentencing practices.

We want a general review and analysis of the entire bail system and other parts of the justice system. It's been tragic and devastating for our organization and it's going to take us a long time to recover for these losses. So we want a comprehensive review of bail, bail violations, even police checkpoint legislation on the streets. There used to be thousands of police checks every year, now there are just a few. We can be stricter when it comes to releasing people who have been arrested. If you ask any police officer they can tell you, they arrest them in the morning, give them bail, and in the afternoon they have to deal with the same people again. Sometimes they are misdemeanors, but there are people out there who have been released after committing very serious crimes.

They say they will also examine what they call a "growing and chronic" shortage of police officers and whether there is a need to boost Crime Stoppers programs.

A funeral was held Wednesday for 28-year-old OPP Const. Greg Pierzchala, who was shot while responding to a vehicle call in a ditch west of Hagersville, Ontario, on Dec. 27. One of those charged in his death had a lengthy criminal record and was out on bail.

Four other police officers have been killed in the line of duty in Canada since September - RCMP Const. Shaelyn Yang was fatally stabbed in Burnaby, B.C., South Simcoe police officers Devon Northrup and Morgan Russell were shot at a home in Innisfil, Ontario, and died in hospital, and Toronto police Const. Andrew Hong was shot and killed in Mississauga, Ontario.

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