Which officers will show up at your door?
RE: Constables not guilty of writing bogus tickets (April 29)
The recent trial of four ACTION team members provides some insight into the quality of some of the men and women who carry out the duties of uniform officers in the Hamilton Police Service.
The offences of which they were accused related to tickets called Provincial Offence Notices that were issued purportedly to homeless or destitute people in downtown Hamilton.
Provincial Offence Notices are designed to be easy to complete. In addition to other information, the time, place and date of the offence are to be put on the ticket immediately before it is served.
Unfortunately for the officers, the times, places and dates they put on the tickets bore no relation to where they actually were at the time they wrote the tickets.
The officers’ defence was that their notations relating to time, place and date, the simplest part of the ticket, were innocent mistakes. They had to show the judge that they were so negligent, indifferent or incompetent that they could not answer three questions correctly: “Where am I?” “What time is it?” and “What day is it?”
Somehow they rose to the occasion, raised a reasonable doubt and were acquitted.
So should the Hamilton Police Service choose to respond to your call for service, who will show up at your door: a dedicated, motivated, competent professional or someone like the four recently acquitted ACTION team officers?
It’s not a lottery that the people of Hamilton should have to play. Andrew Bell, Stoney Creek