Correctional officer released after being taken hostage in Kenora Jail
Published Friday, September 14, 2018 3:35PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:30AM CST
UPDATE: Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said late Friday afternoon the correctional officer involved in the hostage taking was released and taken to hospital to be assessed.
Saturday morning, Ontario Public Service Employees Union spokesperson Mike Lundy told CTV News the officer was released from hospital.
“A lot of psychological damage,” he said in a phone call from Kenora. “It takes a lot to heal what’s going on inside.”
Lundy is a vice chair for provincial health and safety.
He said he expects the officer to be off work for a significant amount of time and it’s important he gets the help he needs.
Lundy said he was spending the day Saturday with staff at the facility to offer support.
Ontario government spokesperson Greg Flood said the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services will launch an internal review into the situation.
“Our thoughts are with the officer and his family during this difficult time,” said Flood in an email to CTV News.
“The ministry appreciates the excellent work of the Kenora staff that secured the release of the officer,” he said.
EARLIER: The Ontario government said a correctional officer working in the Kenora Jail has been taken hostage by inmates.
In a statement, the province’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said, “Efforts are underway to find a peaceful resolution to the situation.”
That includes bringing in institutional crisis intervention teams and negotiators.
The statement said safety of staff is top priority, and there is no threat to community safety as the “situation is contained in the secure part of the Kenora Jail.”
It offered thoughts for the correctional officer involved.
Man on strecher wheeled into ambulance: witness
Bob Smith has lived across the street from the jail for 30 years, which he said houses men and women.
From his balcony he said he saw ambulances and fire trucks arrive around 3 p.m. Friday.
"It was basically a bunch of commotion to start with. I guess most of the activity was on the inside," Smith said.
Sometime later he said he saw a man on a stretcher come out through the jail’s front doors.
“He came out, they wheeled him, he seemed to be sitting up and seemed to be fine, but that's from this distance,” Smith said.
The Kenora Fire Department said it was called to the jail around the time of the hostage taking.
"It just happened at the same time," said Captain John Martin in a phone call with CTV News Saturday.
Martin said inmates lit some clothes on fire, but it was very minor.
Martin said crews were asked to remain on standby in case something else happened.
-With files from CTV's Beth Macdonell