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Durham Police challenging actions of provincial watchdog

Durham Regional Police Service is seeking a court review of recent measures taken against the organization by a provincial watchdog.

Late last month, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) launched an investigation into allegations made against senior Durham Police officials.

As a result, Durham Police Chief Paul Martin was stripped of a number of his duties until the investigation is complete.

Mike Federico, a retired Toronto Police Deputy Chief, is currently overseeing the service.

In media statement released on June 18, Martin said the OCPC has yet to release details about the allegations to Durham Police.

“The service cannot respond to unknown allegations, and the appointment of an administrator to oversee specific work areas is unwarranted,” Martin said in the media statement.

Durham Police are asking the Divisional Court of Ontario for a review of the allegations.

The commission is also investigating whether the Durham Regional Police Services Board is capable of proper oversight of the force.

A statement released by the board states its members take the investigation seriously and will cooperate, but also calls the measures taken by the OCPC “unprecedented.”

“[We] respect Chief Martin’s and the Durham Regional Police Service’s right to pursue legal challenges through the courts,” reads the statement.