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Police Chief responds to investigation

Tribunals Ontario order cites "deep sense of mistrust" in DRPS

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Durham’s Police Chief says he welcomes a “transparent and unbiased” inquiry into allegations made against officials within his force, but maintains some of the accusations have already been investigated.

Martin has been stripped of some of his authorities while the Ontario Civilian Police Commission investigates the allegations.

Retired Toronto Police deputy chief Mike Federico is overseeing the service as an administrator appointed by the commission.

In a statement released on May 27, Martin stated his “deepest regret is the damage done to the reputation to the men and women of DRPS and specifically to several employees mentioned.”

Martin later stated it was “unfortunate” policing resources would mostly be “expended on claims that have already been done investigated.”

“I will do my best to ensure this is the last time they can be resurrected, and that this is done as fairly and without bias as possible, to remove this unfair shadow over the men and women who serve, with distinction, the communities in Durham Region,” Martin said.

Lastly, Martin claimed he and the members of the police services board had yet to see documents related to the complaints, despite asking for them for two months.

The Oshawa Express has received a copy of an order made by Linda Lamoureux, executive chair of Tribunals Ontario, regarding the investigation.

In her order, Lamoureux highlighted a “crisis of confidence” within DRPS as her reason for appointing Federico to oversee the force.

Lamoureux laid out a wide range of allegations, ranging from favouritism, intimidation, and even claims senior DRPS administrators had encouraged, participated in or attempted to cover up criminal conduct or misconduct and interfered in both internal and external investigations.

However, at this point, Lamoureux said the commission doesn’t have “sufficient information” to comment on the merit of these allegations.

But according to her, a preliminary review has exhibited a “deep sense of mistrust in the judgement, integrity, and capacity” on both DRPS leadership and oversight of the Durham Police Services Board.

“The majority of the Service’s sworn officers and the majority of its civilian employees do not believe they are treated fairly or with respect,” Lamoureux wrote.

Federico, who spent 45 years with the Toronto Police Service, will oversee DRPS for one year or until the commission completes its investigation.

Among his powers include reviewing proposed promotions or hiring a deputy chief or police chief, oversight over disciplinary processes and police-service related complaints, both public and internal.

Federico will also have full access to DRPS headquarters and detachments, and past and current records.

He will report back to Lamoureux on a monthly basis.

DRPS will be required to reimburse the commission for Federico’s pay, as well as any other expenses related to his work as an administrator.