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Police board seeking answers on complaints

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Durham Police Chief Paul Martin says he is leaving a complaint about senior officers in the hands of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to determine if an investigation is warranted. (Oshawa Express file photo)

Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The region’s police service board is left with more questions than answers over a recent complaint regarding senior DRPS officers and the board itself.

DRPS board chair Kevin Ashe recently sent a request to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) asking for more information regarding the recent complaint.

The complaint is reportedly regarding misconduct by senior members of the police service.

In his quest for more information, Ashe told The Oshawa Express in an e-mail, “We received a response with the commission declining our request. They indicated that the review was still in the preliminary stages and were concerned that the release could impact the review.”

Ashe said he has nothing more to add on the issue.

Bill Clancy, executive director with the DRPS board provided The Express with a copy of the letter explaining why the OCPC will not provide the board with further information at this time.

In the letter, Celia Lieu, the registrar for OCPC, writes, “The Commission’s practice is not to provide copies of a complaint at this stage for various reasons, including to maintain the privacy/confidentiality of complaints as much as possible, particularly since the matter may not move forward to a formal investigation.”

In her letter, Lieu does advise the preliminary review was initiated at the request of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

The ministry has reportedly received numerous complaints regarding allegations of misconduct by senior members of the DRPS, according to Lieu.

“These allegations in turn called into question whether or not the members of the Durham Regional Police Services Board were also potentially engaged in misconduct and/or failing to meet their statutory duties under the Police Services Act,” says Lieu.

Lieu also says the commission is currently reviewing the allegations, and does not need a response from the board at the moment.

However, she says if an investigation is initiated, the OCPC will “provide sufficient details of the alleged conduct and/or systemic issues the Commission is investigating.”

Lieu says the OCPC hopes to have a decision in the near future.

At the DRPS board’s most recent meeting, police chief Paul Martin did not comment on the issue, other than to say, “I have nothing really to say about it. I’ll leave it in the capable hands of the OCPC to conduct a review and hopefully an investigation to get to the bottom of this and deal with this appropriately.”