Ontario to review OPP workplace culture after recent suicide

Suicides among OPP officers are higher than on-duty deaths. Moreover, OPP does not formally keep track of the number of officers that have taken their own lives.

Ontario to review OPP workplace culture after recent suicide

Postby Thomas » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:09 pm

Ontario to review OPP workplace culture after recent suicides

TORONTO — Ontario is spending up to $500,000 to review workplace culture at the provincial police service, prompted by a number of recent officer suicides.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Monday that the government will create an independent review panel that will issue a final report by early fall, adding that action must be taken now.

“Frontline OPP members in cities and towns across Ontario have raised concerns,” she said in a statement. “Ensuring the safety and well-being of our frontline staff is my top priority.”

Jones has said Ontario Provincial Police are facing a mental health crisis, with 13 officers having taken their own lives since 2012.

The three-member independent review panel will consist of former associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney general Murray Segal and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke.

Jones said the panel will start its work next month and give her an interim report by mid-summer.

The creation of the panel comes after the government announced new mental health supports for provincial police officers last month. The province will fully fund that program, with the police union delivering it.

“We took a first step in addressing some of the concerns at the OPP by recently announcing mental health support, but more must be done,” Jones said Monday. “The well-being of our sworn officers, civilian staff, and their families is too important.”

Ontario Provincial Police Association president Rob Jamieson has called the mental health program — which will give officers and their families access to confidential and personalized mental health services — a decisive first step in addressing what he calls the largest issue facing both active and retired members.

The OPP launched an internal review after a spate of suicides among its ranks last summer.

Ontario’s chief coroner is also looking into the issue, with a review of police suicides across the province after eight active officers and one recently retired officer died by suicide last year.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/c ... t-suicides

https://globalnews.ca/news/5215713/revi ... -suicides/

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-to-r ... -1.4399451
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Tories launch panel to probe OPP ‘workplace culture’ after s

Postby Thomas » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:11 pm

Tories launch panel to probe OPP ‘workplace culture’ after spate of suicides

Queen’s Park has struck a $500,000 independent panel to probe “workplace culture” at the Ontario Provincial Police after more than a dozen officers have died by suicide in recent years.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced the review Monday, saying it was prompted by the deaths and by complaints from current and former OPP staff.

“Frontline OPP members in cities and towns across Ontario have raised concerns,” Jones said in a statement.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of our front-line staff is my top priority. OPP officers have our back. They deserve a government that has theirs.”

Thirteen officers have taken their own lives since 2012 — including three suicides in a three-week span last summer.

The all-male panel is made up of former associate chief justice of Ontario Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney general Murray Segal, and former NDP cabinet minister Dave Cooke.

They will work with recently appointed OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique.

“Our government will act swiftly. That’s why the panel will commence their work in May and provide an interim report to myself by midsummer, with a final report by early fall,” said Jones, noting last month the Progressive Conservative government announced new mental health supports for OPP staff.

“But more must be done. The well-being of our sworn officers, civilian staff and their families is too important,” she said.

Former Ontario ombudsman André Marin has long called for a province-wide probe for officers.

His 2012 report In the Line of Duty found the OPP and what was then known as the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services were “reluctant” to support officers suffering from mental health challenges connected to workplace stress.

Earlier this year, Marin told the Star he believed little has changed since his report seven years ago.

“It’s hard to say whether or not, had this been addressed more seriously, these suicides would have been preventable,” he said in January.

“But there are many that feel they have been given the short shrift. I don’t think this is a problem that’s going away any time soon.”

https://www.thestar.com/politics/provin ... cides.html
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Government Acts to Improve OPP's Workplace Culture

Postby Thomas » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:13 pm

TORONTO — Ontario's Government for the People will create an external Independent Review Panel that will examine the workplace culture of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The proposed review was prompted by recent suicide deaths of OPP members, as well as complaints about the workplace culture by current and former OPP staff.

"Frontline OPP members in cities and towns across Ontario have raised concerns," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "Ensuring the safety and well-being of our frontline staff is my top priority. OPP officers have our back. They deserve a government that has theirs."

The three-person panel will also work with newly appointed OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique to improve the working lives of the uniformed and civilian members of the OPP.

"Our government will act swiftly. That's why the panel will commence their work in May and provide an interim report to myself by mid-summer, with a final report by early fall," said Jones.

As Ontario's Government for the People works to fix an unsustainable financial situation, the government has put OPP personnel and their families first by investing in a comprehensive mental health support program in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police Association.

"We took a first step in addressing some of the concerns at the OPP by recently announcing mental health support, but more must be done," said Jones. "The well-being of our sworn officers, civilian staff, and their families is too important."

QUICK FACTS

The three-member panel will consist of:

Douglas Cunningham - Former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario

Murray Segal - Former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario

David Cooke - Former Ontario MPP and Cabinet Minister.

Cost for this initiative will be capped at $500,000, with administrative support leveraged from within government to minimize costs.

https://news.ontario.ca/mcscs/en/2019/4 ... lture.html
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Ontario to review OPP workplace culture after recent suicide

Postby Thomas » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm

TORONTO — Ontario is launching an independent review of the workplace culture at the provincial police after more than a dozen officers have committed suicide since 2012.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said an independent review panel will start its work next month, with an interim report expected by mid-summer.

"Front-line OPP members in cities and towns across Ontario have raised concerns," she said Monday in a statement. "Ensuring the safety and well-being of our front-line staff is my top priority."

The province is spending $500,000 on the review, and the members of the review panel — former associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney general Murray Segal and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke — will issue a final report by early fall.

Last month, the Progressive Conservative government announced new funding for mental health supports for provincial police officers, but Jones said Monday more must be done.

"The well-being of our sworn officers, civilian staff, and their families is too important," she said.

Ontario Provincial Police Association president Rob Jamieson praised the formation of the panel and said he hopes it gives people within the service a platform to voice their concerns about OPP workplace culture.

"Some of the issues that have been highlighted, obviously the mental health and well-being of our people over the last year, have been incredibly troubling," he said. "Those issues are known. But I think there are some additional voices that need to be heard."

Jamieson said while he doesn't want to pre-judge the findings of the panel he hopes it will more deeply examine the issues the association, and many within the service, have been raising for some time.

"You have to call out the fact that there are cases of bullying and harassment," he said. "You have to call out the fact that mental health supports need to go further. You have to call out the fact that you have people in positions of authority ... who either aren't making decisions that need to be made or maybe aren't making the right ones."

Jamieson has called the mental health program — which will give officers and their families access to confidential and personalized mental health services — a decisive first step in addressing what he calls the largest issue facing both active and retired members.

The OPP launched an internal review after a spate of suicides among its ranks last summer.

Ontario's chief coroner is also looking into the issue, with a review of police suicides across the province after eight active officers and one recently retired officer died by suicide last year.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9308 ... -suicides/
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