Former CPS officers praise Calgary Police Commission leadership for asking “tough questions”
Women caught up in bullying and harassment say CPC isn't 'just taking them at their word'
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Former female Calgary police officers who have been the spokeswomen for workplace bullying and harassment issues within the police force said they’re relying on Calgary Police Commission leadership to hold CPS executives' feet to the fire.
Marlene Hope and Jen Ward – both former CPS officers (Ward publicly quit at the January CPC meeting citing her issues with bullying and harassment and a lack of support from executive)—said they appreciate how CPC chair, Brian Thiessen, and vice-chair Lisa Silver continuously “ask the tough questions” of the CPS executive about these issues.
“It appears that those two understand the dynamics that are involved and aren’t just taking them at their word—they’re asking the hard questions to make sure the service tells them how they plan to carry things out,” said Hope.
Ward said she and other officers in similar positions as her knew and trusted Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart. Ward said she’s hopeful, following Colley-Urquhart’s abrupt decision to step down from the CPC, that they can build that kind of trust with Thiessen and Silver.
Thiessen said he and Silver, along with the other commissioners, will continue to ask the “tough questions” because they take their role and civilian oversight of the police force very seriously.
“We think if the public is asking these questions we owe then because we have a seat at the table with the CPS executive there to ask them pointed questions,” he said. “We’ve done that in that past and will continue to do it.”
Silver said in her questions she aims to bring an outside perspective to the force, the perspective of the public.
“We have to be that outside little voice that says, ‘think of it this way.’ Asking those hard questions to keep them understanding that there is a reflection of our society going on here and we all have to work together,” she said.
Hope said they’re thankful to see CPC leadership stepping up in this way.