Union takes rain check on po­lice events

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page -

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 than 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 Borde­leau 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 se­nior 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 the se­nior of­fi­cers con­tinue to work 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.”

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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