The Peterborough Examiner

Suspended officer collects $600K

Durham Regional Police officer still collecting pay, benefits since 2008 suspension

- MICHELE MANDEL Postmedia Network

OSHAWA -- How he must laugh at our stupidity.

Over the last seven years, Durham cop Glen Turpin has collected more than $600,000 in salary from Ontario taxpayers while suspended with pay for using excessive force.

With a file stuffed at the time of his 2008 suspension with more public complaints than any other Durham officer, the constable has twice been brought up on criminal charges and has three conviction­s under the Police Services Act for serious misconduct.

And still he collects his police paycheque, pension and benefits while his appeals and hearings slowly stretch out over the years. But Turpin’s not one to sit idle. According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s Ontario operations manager for Emergency Response Institute Canada and owner of Tactical Films Consulting.

So why is he allowed to continue to suck us dry?

“I have no comment at this time,” Turpin said politely when reached on the Tactical Films office line.

Next month lawyers will make final submission­s on what penalty Turpin should face following three incidents where Durham residents were injured, two of them requiring hospital treatment. Prosecutor Ian Johnstone is calling for the 46-yearold’s immediate dismissal.

“It’s a case of three strikes and you’re out. This is his third major incident of unlawful use of force. It can’t be tolerated any longer,” the service’s lawyer said when contacted by the Toronto Sun.

The sad irony is that Turpin should know better. For two years, this black belt in Kenpo Karate trained other police officers on the proper use of force.

Turpin’s employment history is a study in contradict­ions: A long-time volunteer with search and rescue, he has numerous commendati­ons and was a Lion’s Club officer of the year in 2002. But then there are the voluminous accusation­s from the people he policed.

In 2007, the Durham police chief ordered an internal review: “The sheer number of public complaints that have been generated regarding your job performanc­e gives the service cause for concern,” the chief wrote him. “In 2006, you had 26 times the number of public complaints compared to your colleagues ... as of September (2007) you had 23 times the number of public complaints compared to your colleagues.”

The review concluded Turpin was responsibl­e for 10% of all Durham police-related investigat­ions by the SIU. He was demoted to a desk job before his 2008 suspension.

His first serious Police Act conviction came a decade earlier. Without a warrant or permission, Turpin entered Roderick Tamney’s home to speak to his son about his missing friend. When he objected, Turpin grabbed his wrist and pushed him, knocking him against a window ledge. “We can find no pressing requiremen­t that should have caused him to use force,” the Ontario Civilian Police Commission wrote in upholding his conviction in 2000.

In 2006, Turpin was criminally charged with assault causing bodily harm and uttering a threat to cause bodily harm for his treatment of a drunk prisoner.

After arresting Martin Egan for causing a disturbanc­e outside a Whitby bar, the officer was heard on tape in the holding cell warning the belligeren­t 21-year-old to co-operate or “I’m going to punch your teeth right through the back of your head.”

His partner told the court she found his “grounding” of Egan excessive and asked not to work with Turpin again. She wasn’t present when Egan was grounded a second time, causing a cut above his eye that needed nine stitches.

Justice Myrna Lack convicted Turpin on both charges. “Turpin taunted and provoked Mr. Egan. He entered Mr. Egan’s cell on a pretext because he was angry and assaulted him,” she ruled, “Mr. Egan suffered a significan­t injury as a result.”

He got two years probation and 120 hours of community service. At a police disciplina­ry hearing in 2010, Turpin pleaded guilty to discredita­ble conduct.

In 2011, the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial because the judge used a questionab­le interpreta­tion of a garbled part of the audio. At his second trial, Turpin pleaded guilty to one count of threatenin­g bodily harm and received a conditiona­l discharge. The assault charge was withdrawn.

In 2007, Turpin was criminally charged again for his violent handling of another drunken prisoner. Dispatched to a disturbanc­e in Whitby, Turpin admitted striking Ryan Schwalm twice in the face while taking him into custody for assault with intent to resist arrest and causing a disturbanc­e. According to his disciplina­ry hearing, Turpin was then recorded using a “violent, takedown manoeuvre” that caused Schwalm to fall and slam his head against the cell wall.

While acquitted at trial, a police tribunal found him guilty in 2012 of unlawful or unnecessar­y exercise of authority.

“It is simply ridiculous to suggest that the throwing of an intoxicate­d person, who has his shorts around both ankles and his hands cuffed behind his back, to a concrete floor, in the close proximity of cinder block walls is ‘prudent,’” ruled hearing officer Richard Finn.

That was three years ago -and we’re still paying this bully’s salary? He must be laughing all the way to the bank.

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