News / Ottawa

Ottawa police association limiting contact with senior brass

Association angered over apparent double standard in handing out suspensions.

The union representing Ottawa cops says it will take steps to keep its distance from senior members of the police department.

Metro File

The union representing Ottawa cops says it will take steps to keep its distance from senior members of the police department.

Ottawa Police Association staff plan to keep their distance from some special events, arguing they can’t stand side by side with senior police brass who the union believes are being treated differently the rank and file.

Police association president Matt Skof said he and his staff will be staying away from certain ceremonial events and committees where they normally work with the police. They’ll also be skipping the police gala.

He said the measures won’t extend to rank and file officers.

“This was never a direction to any of our members, this is simply advising our members about what … the association and my staff — what we’re participating in during the year.”

Skof and the association has expressed frustration that Police Chief Charles Bordelau has not suspended three senior officers who are under OPP investigation.

He said junior officers have faced reassignment and suspension under much less serious circumstances.

“When their benchmark is different for one section of people versus a senior complement, then that’s where we end up with a double standard.”

The OPP is investigating three officers over their involvement in an investigation into a training accident in Kanata. That accident initially led to charges against several junior officers.

Skof said having senior officers working in their positions while under investigation is an untenable situation for the association.

“These are people with very substantial portfolios, and so every decision they are making, we are taking note.”

He said the association would also no longer sit on joint committees with the police.

“It’s become very counterproductive and we’re not going to be putting that investment of time and resources,” Skof said.

The union and the police board signed a four-year labour deal last week. Skof said bargaining work remains with the board and won’t be impacted by these changes.

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