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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Orangeville police officers call on provincial watchdog to probe Police Service Board

Orangeville police officers want the province to investigate their bosses.
By: By Peter Edwards Star Reporter
The Orangeville Police Association unanimously has requested that the Ontario Civilian Police Commissioninvestigate “the adequacy and effectiveness of the Orangeville Police Service Board” in its November 13 meeting.
The OCPC is a provincial oversight agency tasked with making sure that police forces follow the Police Services Act.
Police service boards are responsible for hiring and monitoring local police chiefs, establishing police policies and making sure those policies are followed.
Orangeville Police Association meeting notes obtained by The Star don’t explain why the investigation was requested. Notes for the Nov. 13 meeting do note that the decision was made after consultation with a lawyer.
The Star has also obtained a letter sent by Orangeville Police Association President James Giovannetti, in which he tells members of the request for an outside review of the force.
No reasons are given in the letter for the association’s request.
“As a result of ongoing concerns regarding the operation of the Orangeville Police Services Board, the OPA Executive unanimously decided to request that the OCPC conduct a review in to the adequacy and effectiveness of the OPSB,” Giovannetti writes to members.
“This request is specifically in regards to the OPSB, and does not involve senior management of the Orangeville Police Service,” Giovannetti continued.
Police services board chair Cynthia Rayburn and Mayor Rob Adams, who sits on the board, could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that officers have urged the province to investigate the force.
In 2010, former Orangeville police Sergeant Curtis Rutt also requested that the province probe what he called widespread lack of training for officers.
Rutt called for the OCPC to conduct an independent review of the force and for Chief Joseph Tomei to be suspended for allegedly supplying inadequate training for officers, which Rutt said resulted in substandard investigations.
Rutt was subsequently charged under the Police Services Act with discreditable conduct, deceit and breach of confidence for allegedly leaking material to the media.
Rutt resigned last August, saying his continued employment with the force was “intolerable.” The charges died with his resignation.
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