News / Calgary

CPS members demand oversight of leadership from police commission

An internal CPS survey released Tuesday found that 53 per cent of members disagreed that corporate culture is based upon respectful leadership at all levels

The CPS internal survey released Tuesday indicated rising levels of dissatisfaction amongst the rank and file.

CPS

The CPS internal survey released Tuesday indicated rising levels of dissatisfaction amongst the rank and file.

Issues of bullying, harassment and dissatisfaction in the Calgary Police Service have been under the spotlight recently since the public release of a 2013 workplace review, and reiterated in the 2016 internal member satisfaction survey released publicly Tuesday.

Marlene Hope said after listening to senior leadership of the Calgary Police Service speak to the Calgary Police Commission Tuesday about ongoing human resource issues—she’s feeling a little defeated.

“I don’t think they’re capable of doing this,” said the former CPS detective who has acted as a spokesperson for members who have had negative experiences in the force.

“It isn’t personal, they just can’t do what needs to be done to bring about transformational change.”

On Tuesday, current CPS member Kim Prodaniuk gave the commission her opinion about the role senior management has played in these issues.

“Culture is labeling bullying and harassment and was most recently demonstrated through membership feedback in survey,” she said.

The survey found that 47 per cent of respondents disagreed that CPS takes appropriate action in response to incidents of harassment, discrimination, and bullying, that 48 per cent disagreed that CPS has an effective process for dealing with the latter and that 53 per cent disagreed that corporate culture is based upon respectful leadership at all levels.

“In fact retaliation and participation in those things comes directly from leadership. To put it bluntly, the membership working under these policies aren’t buying into what the executive is selling,” said Prodaniuk. “It’s the enforcement and accountability piece that’s missing for a lot of us. A lot of these people that are the bullies are in leadership.”

Prodaniuk said things that leadership have presented to the commission as positives, such as the 81 per cent increase in workplace assessment completions—they actually don’t live up to the hype.

“These are supervisors pushing through assessments that are completely without substance just to get them in for deadline so they don’t get any negative paperwork,” she said. “Those assessments affect people within the membership when it comes to promotions, feeling devalued and prohibit their work within the organization.”

Brian Thiessen, CPC chair, thanked Prodaniuk for her comments and said CPS leadership will be held to account.

“I think we’re all cognizant of what you’ve said and Marlene mentioned, which is that these concerns have been raised before and they haven’t resulted in change,” he said. “I think the start is that leadership is engaged on this, the commission is fully engaged on it and we’ve heard from members like yourself that it’s an imminent concern. We’re going to measure it. We’re going to follow up on it.”

Thiessen said the CPC would be conducting an evaluation of the chief’s work and asked that members like Prodaniuk follow up with the commission in six months.

“Come back and tell us how we’ve done, ‘You’ve hit it on theses ones, you’ve missed it on these ones,’ and we will adjust,” he said.

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