Again and again….

……….policing vs the rules

The Toronto Star reported in the second week of July that a Belleville judge had ‘blasted’ the local OPP detachment for an ‘egregious’ strip search of a DUI suspect, and forthwith stayed the impaired driving charges.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled 15 years ago that strip searching is “inherently humiliating and degrading”, and should only be done when there are reasonable grounds to do so. Yet, police across the province have continued to conduct what judges deem illegal searches. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) announced last July that it was undertaking a review of police search practices provincewide as a response.

“I’ve had enough. There is no regard being given to the rules”, OIPRD head Gerry McNeilly told the Star when contacted about this case. The lawyer for the accused in the Belleville court added, “The police can no longer take the position that they were unaware of what the law was. There’s no uncertainty now. It cannot be said that there’s any question with what the law is with respect to strip searches.”

Nonetheless, what is particularly challenging in this story is that one of the officers involved testified that she has not changed her practice, in spite of advice from her seniors.

We contributed our own perspective to the OPP.

August 1, 2017

Inspector Christina Reive, Detachment Commander,
Quinte West Detachment, OPP,
3 Dixon Drive, P.O. Box 1050,
Trention, ON K8V 6E6

Re:  Say it isn’t so!

Inspector Reive:

Assuming the Toronto Star’s Monday, July 20, front page headline is correct, and Jacques Gallant’s supporting report is factual, we have a problem, don’t we?

“Judge blasts OPP for ‘egregious’ strip search” not only charges two of your officers with breaking the law, but one of them, Amanda MacFadden, testified she won’t change her practice.

Now, tell us again, why we should give a damn about respecting our police services?

Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen

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