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On Wednesday March 27, the local social media world went abuzz as pictures were posted of West Nipissing Police (WNPS) officers advancing on a downtown building with their guns drawn. Rumors and conjecture flew about what could be happening at the John Street location, which houses a laundromat and residence; but as it turns out, it wasn’t an exciting swat mission.
“It really isn’t a big story for us, but some people on social media really blew it out of proportion,” says WNPS Chief Ray St. Pierre. “We got a complaint from a resident that an individual inside the house had firearms and was acting strangely. Of course, we attended the call. For public and officer safety, firearms were taken out as a precaution measure. When we arrived on scene, we spoke to the individual inside the house who was extremely cooperative. He spoke with the officers, came out of the home without confrontation whatsoever, with no intention of harming himself or anyone else, and just wanted his guns to be taken to a safe place.”
St. Pierre stresses that the public was in no danger. “It’s rare that the public see policemen in the middle of the day with their firearms out… but there was no public safety issue there. There was no threat of violence by anyone. No charges were laid; it was all in the name of safety. The individual didn’t disclose anything that led us to believe he was going to harm anyone, or himself. He was compliant, came out, spoke with us, and the guns were taken away. The number of officers dispatched to the call again was just for safety, we never know how much the caller is telling us and we want to ensure that the public is safe.”
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