Police officer’s family secret revealed

Ottawa Police Inspector Mike Maloney is photographed at the Greenbank detachment. He's sharing his...

Ottawa Police Inspector Mike Maloney is photographed at the Greenbank detachment. He's sharing his family's secret about domestic violence so that others will get the help they need. (Darren Brown/QMI Agency)

Ron Corbett, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Mike Maloney is a cop.

One of the most senior in the Ottawa Police Service, a duty inspector, the person who gets summoned to oversee any high-risk incident or call whenever he is on shift.

He's been a cop for 26 years -- a patrol cop, a detective, a swat team leader, now duty inspector -- he loves being a boots-on-the-ground police officer.

Maybe that explains why he kept his secret for so long. Cops are supposed to be detached professionals. People above the fray.

But this story, well, it's messy. And Maloney is anything but above the fray.

"This is not the sort of story you run around telling, whether you're a cop or not," he says, meeting me at a downtown restaurant and quickly reaching inside his jacket to pull out a 3-by-5 gloss photo.

"I've thought about telling this story for years, but never felt comfortable about it," he continues. "Domestic violence is just too important an issue, though, and if I can help in any sort of way, well, maybe I should."

His voice inflects up on this last part. Turns it into a question. "Maybe I should?"

He is still unsure. Even at this stage.

But he goes ahead. A good cop who has made a decision and so he is resolute.

"That's my mother. Bernice Maloney," he says, tapping the world-war-two era photo on the table between us. "She did time in the Kingston Women's Pen for killing her boyfriend."

* * *

Mike Maloney's story -- what happened to him, his mother and his brothers and sisters many years ago -- is a tale you could easily find in a Dickens novel.

A story none of the Maloney children have talked about until now. Family secrets. They are a big part of domestic violence.

"No one in the family talked about this for years," says Maloney. "Why would you? It's not the sort of thing you want to remember. It's the sort of thing you want to pretend never happened."

Maloney was one of the first four cops assigned back in 1993 to what is now called the Partner Assault Unit (the unit now has 25 members) so he knows all about denial and secrets.

He also knows that despite two decades of public awareness campaigns, the statistics on domestic violence in Ottawa remain troubling.


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