New Westminster – The death of Naverone Woods on December 28, 2014, was a tragedy for all involved: Mr. Woods, the family of Mr. Woods, the police officers, their families and those who witnessed the events that day. Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. Woods.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police will carefully consider the recommendations resulting from the recent inquest into the death of Mr. Woods, which make clear there were no concerns regarding training, policy and equipment. We review all critical incidents thoroughly, always taking them as a learning opportunity moving forward. We will, of course, be informed by the thorough investigation of the Independent Investigations Office which concluded that our officers acted “in compliance with their sworn duty and obligation” and that the officers’ actions were lawful and reasonable.
No police officer begins their shift expecting to be placed in the position of potentially taking a person’s life. Transit Police officers, by virtue of the fact that many people with mental health issues and/or alcohol and drug issues use public transit as their means of transportation, encounter persons suffering the results of these issues every day. In depth training is provided to the officers, but sometimes police officers need to make split second decisions to protect lives.
We thank Coroner Redford and the jury of this inquest for their thoughtful review of the information provided and their conclusions.