Suspension without pay?

If the drift of Canada towards a police state has not yet affected you directly, you would do well to recall the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, writing in Germany before his arrest in the 1930s: "The Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant, so I didn't speak that time there was nobody left to speak up for anyone."

Suspension without pay?

Postby Thomas » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:39 am

Should cops charged with offences, misconduct, be suspended without pay?

Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire seeks amendments to Ontario Police Services Act

Almost a month after the sudden retirement of a disgraced police officer who collected more than $550,000 in salary in four years while being suspended, the issue of suspension without pay will be under the spotlight again for Hamilton police.

Police Chief Glenn De Caire will present a white paper at the police services board meeting on Tuesday, seeking amendments to Ontario's Police Services Act to allow suspension without pay for officers charged with serious criminal offences and those held in custody.

In addition, De Caire is asking the province to give police chiefs “the discretionary ability” to suspend officers without pay for serious Police Services Act misconducts.

In his white paper, De Caire cited the case of former Hamilton police inspector David Doel, who collected $552,626 in salary while being suspended since 2009 due to serious Police Services Act offences.

Doel faced 14 misconduct charges, which include having sex on duty, keeping pornography on his work computer, and using video equipment and the national criminal database for personal use.

Doel abruptly announced his retirement last November in the midst of his hearing — six months shy of a full pension — which meant he was no longer subject to the Police Services Act and the charges were stayed. His last official day was March 31.

'Tremendous negative feedback'

De Caire said the $552,626 that was collected does not include the costs of the outside prosecutor, the hearing officer, the rental hotel room for hearing dates or the investigator’s time.

He said he also recognizes that Doel's case “has brought tremendous negative feedback from the community.”

Glenn De Caire
Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire has been a vocal opponent of paid suspension of police officers charged with serious offenses. (Adam Carter/CBC)

The issue of suspension without pay is not a new one, the white paper pointed out, and there is a recognized need across the country to address the issue.

Ontario is the only province where suspended police officers must be paid.

Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba all have legislation to allow suspension of police officers without pay in certain circumstances.

Under Ontario's Police Services Act, the only circumstance in which a police officer doesn't get paid while suspended is if he or she is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.

If an officer is convicted of a crime but doesn't have to serve time behind bars, they remain suspended with pay until they can be fired through the police disciplinary procedure. The same process applies to officers internally charged with misconduct.

If the officer appeals their termination, it can be delayed for months, even years.

Innocent until proven guilty

In 2007, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police passed a resolution asking the government to give police chiefs the ability to suspend officers without pay for serious criminal offences, or if officers charged are held in custody or subject to court-ordered conditions that would prevent them from carrying out their duties.

De Caire, who has been a vocal opponent of suspension with pay, supports this resolution, and he wants to take it a step further by adding serious Police Services Act misconducts to the criteria.

In his white paper, De Caire said the purpose of the document is to “further state it is additionally necessary to permit a Police Chief to suspend an officer without pay for serious Police Services Act misconducts.”

“Allegations of serious Police Service Act misconduct also represents a fundamental breach of public trust,” the white paper continued, adding that suspension without pay would be reserved only for serious misconduct allegations in which dismissal is sought.

Critics of suspension without pay said police officers, like all other citizens, are presumed innocent until proven guilty and they should still get their pay while they are exercising their right to appeal.

The police services board meeting will take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Hamilton city hall. ... -1.2616640
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Officers facing serious criminal charges should NOT be paid

Postby Thomas » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:52 am

Officers facing serious criminal charges should be stripped of pay: police chiefs association

WATERLOO REGION — Police say their hands are tied and they have no choice but to pay officers who are suspended while they face misconduct charges.

The Police Services Act dictates that officers continue to receive their salaries while they are under suspension from their jobs.

The only time the chief of police can suspend an officer without pay is when an officer is convicted of an offence and receives a prison sentence.

Joe Couto, spokesperson for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said the association is trying to lobby the provincial government to make changes to the act.

"No party has the appetite to do the right thing and change the law," he said.

The association recognizes that officers facing misconduct charges get paid through the proceedings to protect the officer until a decision is made, he said.

However, officers who are charged with a serious criminal offence shouldn't be protected, Couto said.

In a white report written by the association in 2010, the group says Ontario police chiefs "lack the legal authority to take reasonable and appropriate steps in dealing with allegations of serious criminality."

The paper says this leads to "an erosion of public trust" with the public concluding that "the police are protection their own."

This week, three officers were before a police tribunal at Waterloo Regional Police headquarters. Jeff Vongkhamphou, Timothy Green and Graeme Kobayashi plead guilty to charges of neglect of duty, deceit and discreditable conduct.

Vongkhamphou was charged criminally with obstructing justice and given a suspended sentence. He admitted in 2012 that he disposed of a sex toy and nude photographs that were stolen on police calls by Const. Christopher Knox the year before. Knox resigned.

All three officers are being paid even though they are suspended from their jobs. They are awaiting sentencing.

The tribunal heard that the men were part of a BlackBerry Messenger group in which officers made offensive remarks about a mentally ill woman and a pregnant woman, a boy with Down syndrome and a group of Asian men in a pub, as well as ridiculing someone of Middle Eastern descent.

The officers mocked a supervisory officer with a cleft palate, referring to the officer as "whistle lips." They also made fun of an officer for his sexual orientation.

In one case, an officer stole a sex toy while on a police call from a citizen's home and then attached the sex toy to another officer's vehicle. Nude photos of a woman were also stolen from her partner's cellphone.

The prosecution at the hearing wants all three officers fired for what was described as a "cavalier" and "callous" attitude when mocking members of the public and posting their photos to the BlackBerry Messenger group.

An officer can appeal a decision by a hearing officer to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. They also get paid during that process.

Earlier this month, Const. Craig Markham was ordered to resign from the Waterloo Regional Police after hearing officer Supt. Pat Dietrich said Markham was careless and reckless when he leaked confidential information on someone who was in custody to the person's partner. He is appealing the decision and will receive his salary until his case is heard. ... sociation/
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