Ottawa – This morning, I received an investigative report from the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) on the conduct of nine Ottawa Police Service members during the SIU investigation of a tactical training incident in 2014. Three are members of the Senior Officers’ Association and six are members of the Ottawa Police Association.
The investigation included interviews and a review of documents provided by a local defence lawyer and the Special Investigations Unit.
The O.P.P. investigators found no evidence of any misconduct or wrongdoing that would support charges under the Criminal Code or substantiate charges under the Police Services Act on any of the nine members.
Last May, I asked the O.P.P. to investigate all aspects of this investigation after allegations were made by a local defence lawyer about the conduct of members of our service, both named and unnamed. The O.P.P. investigation also included concerns raised by the SIU regarding the conduct of some OPS members during the SIU investigation into the tactical training incident. I had already initiated a Chief’s Complaint on the concerns raised by the SIU.
The decision to request the O.P.P. to investigate was made in the interest of transparency.
I now consider this matter closed.
Oversight is important and we believe in it. However, this matter is another example of the intense public scrutiny that members of all ranks are subject to. We need to be cognizant of the impact it has on them.
I continually see the professionalism and integrity of all of our members when subject to these types of investigations. Like any member of the service, these members were not permitted to speak publicly on their own behalf during the investigation.
None of the nine members were suspended or reassigned as a result of the investigation.
I stand by that decision.
The vast majority of officers are not suspended or reassigned as a result of investigations. To say otherwise is simply not true. Every decision to suspend or reassign a member takes into account various factors and is based on the information and facts we have.
It is my belief that the conclusion of this O.P.P. investigation is a reminder of the importance of not rushing to judgement.
I know that this has been a divisive issue both within our organization and in the public at a time when we should be striving to maintain the trust and confidence of the people we serve.
We need to move forward for the good of the organization, our members and the community.