Ont. police chiefs want ability to suspend cops without pay

Jennifer Evans is the first woman to be appointed police chief in Peel Region. (IAN ROBERTSON/QMI...

Jennifer Evans is the first woman to be appointed police chief in Peel Region. (IAN ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

TORONTO -- Ontario's police chiefs want the ability to suspend officers without pay for both serious on- and off-duty incidents.

On Wednesday at their annual gathering, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) asked the newly minted Liberal provincial government for those new powers.

Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans, who began a term as association president Wednesday, said the ability to hand down the suspensions is a matter of public confidence.

"How do you instil public confidence when you're paying someone, who should be on duty, but you can't bring them back because you don't have any confidence in them to do their duties?" Evans said.

The association first asked the government for the ability to suspend without pay officers facing off-duty criminal charges in 2007. This year they've added the ability to suspend for serious misconduct within the workplace, Evans said.

At present, chiefs have no option but to suspend officers with pay.

"Often the matter goes unresolved for a year or two years or more and the whole time the officer is being paid," she said.

The Police Association of Ontario, which represents police unions across the province, thinks the current system works, acting president Dan Axford said. But if change is coming, they'd like an independent third-party reviewing any suspensions without pay.

"Giving chiefs sole discretion to do something like that is not a reasonable way to allow suspensions without pay to occur," Axford said.


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