FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 4:40pm
(Ottawa)óToday, I have convened members of the media to follow up on the Ottawa Police Serviceís commitment to keep the community informed and update everyone on what has transpired over the past few days.
Last Friday, December 3rd I was briefed on a new incident concerning our cellblock operations. On Monday, I was briefed on a second incident.
I am extremely concerned with the fact that we are learning of more incidents related to how Ottawa Police deals with individuals in our custody.
Last week, Chief Vern White made it very clear that it is our duty to ensure that the Ottawa Police is accountable for its actions. We always strive to serve the people of Ottawa in a transparent and professional way.
While we have highly competent investigators with skills and experience to conduct these investigations, I felt it was important to seek assistance from an outside agency, the Ontario Provincial Police. Late this afternoon, I have received written confirmation from the OPP that they will proceed with the new investigations. Should any new cases arise; they will be deferred to the OPP.
We have a problem, no doubt about it, and we need to identify the issues so that we can take measures to correct them. Ultimately, Iím certain that with the right measures in place, the Ottawa Police will emerge from this stronger than ever and deliver the kind of services that our community expects and deserves.
We stand firm in our commitment to take the necessary steps to address organizational issues that emerge from this process. We are following through on our commitment to maintain the confidence of our community and that of our members.
Ultimately, we must ensure the safety, security, and dignity of every person in our custody. To this end, we have taken decisive action:
First, in accordance with Section 11 of the SIU Regulations, a report on our policy and services review will be submitted to the Police Services Board 30 days following the conclusion of the SIU investigation.
Second, we have engaged the services of an outside firm that will conduct a thorough review of our current policies and training. This review will be done by comparing ourselves with other Canadian police agencies of similar size and conducting research into existing case law.
Their review will focus on:
o Public intoxication and arrest procedures;
o Strip search procedures; and
Operating procedures for Central cellblock.
Third, we are introducing a number of measures to enhance the training of cellblock staff and improve our ongoing monitoring and oversight, including:
o Supplemental Use-of-Force training for all Special Constables;
o A thorough review of procedures and protocols with all sworn officers and civilians in cellblock; and
o Enhanced monitoring of cellblock through the addition of audio equipment to supplement the video coverage.
Iím heartened by the fact that Ottawa residents appreciate the great work of the exceptional men and women of the Ottawa Police Service who proudly serve this community every day. We continue to work hard to ensure that we safeguard the confidence of our community.
In closing, I must stress that due to the ongoing nature of the OPP led investigations, and the fact that these cases are currently before the courts, we cannot make any further public comments.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
What you call "rather revealing", to anyone who knows how to read police propaganda.
The police propaganda, alludes, falsely, that after this "review" that "the problem" will be solved.
All about which,