Union wants to discuss Cape Breton Regional Police vehicle policy with chief
‘I don’t see us as dropping this issue’
The president of the union representing police in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is hoping a meeting with Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter McIsaac will result in better distribution of unmarked vehicles. Joan Jessome of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union said Monday that a union proposal on how best to distribute the 13 vehicles now assigned to managers would leave at least five vehicles that could be retained by managers. The eight others would be distributed across the four divisions of the Cape Breton Regional Police.
“They really do have a valid rationale for the distribution and I don’t see us as dropping this issue,” she said after meeting with the local union executive over the weekend.
The issue came to light last week when email exchanges between McIsaac and union vice- president Const. Greg Livingstone were sent to local media outlets.
McIsaac said he was reluctant to change the policy because his managers are on call 24- 7 and need vehicles at their disposal.
The policy allows managers to take their vehicles home, which is causing concern for union members who complain that sometimes an unmarked vehicle is not available.
Jessome said her members are also reluctant to speak out publicly on the issue because of fear of reprisals from management.
“We want to talk to legal counsel and staff before taking the next step,” said Jessome, adding she’s hopeful a meeting with McIsaac could help solve the issue.
Meanwhile, CBRM Dist. 5 Coun. Eldon MacDonald, who is also chairman of the municipal police commission, said he wants a meeting with McIsaac to better understand the issue.
MacDonald said last week he only learned of the car practice through media reports and wants to a get more information before commenting.
A main restriction governing the car policy dictates that vehicles are not to be for personal use, but the union contends that policy is being regularly violated with no repercussions.