News / Ottawa

Ottawa police union wants consistency in suspensions

Double-standard between junior officers and senior ones is creating unease in the ranks.

The Ottawa Police union wants consistency in how officers under investigation are treated.

Metro File

The Ottawa Police union wants consistency in how officers under investigation are treated.

A decision to promote a senior officer under investigation by the OPP only extends trust issues between the chief and the rank and file, according to the head of the city’s police union.

Matt Skof, president of the Ottawa Police Association, said it make officers doubt their leadership.

“It certainly causes second guessing,” he said. “There are decisions that the chief has made that I agree with, but when you are in an environment of distrust with a leadership vacuum you have these issues crop up.”

The OPP is currently looking at the actions of senior officers during an investigation, by the province’s special investigations unit, of a training accident in Kanata in 2014

The Ottawa Citizen reported Friday that one of those senior officers, who remains under investigation, will be made the acting deputy chief for several weeks this summer.

Skof said front-line officers have been suspended or put on desk duty for more minor issues. He said there have been multiple cases where an officer was denied promotions or even training while under investigation. He said the chief should be treating everyone equally.

“It just shows and exacerbates the double standard.”

When the OPP investigation was first announced, Skof called for the police officers in question to be suspended and asked the police board to review Bordeleau’s decision to leave the officers at their post.

He said the police board should take another look now.

“The question is, does the police service board see the decision-making becoming problematic?”

Skof said he hopes the OPP investigation ultimately clears the officers, if that’s what the evidence demands, but while the investigation is ongoing senior officers should be treated exactly as junior officers are.

“It’s the lack of a consistent process. The results of any investigation are not our concern.”

More on Metronews.ca