The guns were fakes but the danger was real.
Two people are in police custody after London Police Service (LPS) officers responded to two separate firearm calls within hours of each other Thursday (Feb. 7).
It turns out the incidents at White Oaks Mall, and Wharncliffe Road and Emery Street, were completely separate but had one thing in common: the weapons were replicas.
The two persons in custody were both arrested at the mall. Acting media relations Const. Charlene Humble said she isn’t aware of any charges yet, but the investigations into both incidents are in the early stages and ongoing.
No one has been arrested in relation to the Wharncliffe Road incident.
According to LPS Chief Brad Duncan, officers can’t distinguish between a real gun and a fake when they are confronted with one on the street.
He said the consequences of the officer’s split-second decision could be “devastating."
“I cannot emphasize strongly enough the level of danger posed to someone in possession of a replica firearm. A police officer will have no way of knowing that the gun is not real and when presented with a perceived threat a police officer must respond accordingly. This can result in a very dangerous situation for the person possessing the gun, nearby members of the public and the police.”
That’s on top of the “significant police resources” committed to gun calls. Uniformed officers and members of the Emergency Response Unit responded to both incidents.