Officers allege friendship trumps the law

Aug 18, 2016

Rank-and-file police officers are circulating a petition to express a vote of non-confidence in the leadership of Chief Charles Bordeleau. Officers are alleging a personal friendship has absolved another senior officer of misconduct.

Since June, Const. Lindsy Richardson has filed more than one complaint of workplace misconduct against Acting Supt. Paul Johnston, who now is in charge of the professional standards section, which investigates officer misconduct. Based on Police Chief Bordeleau's long friendship with Johnston, other officers believe an outside organization should be assigned to investigate the allegations.

Chief Charles Bordeleau has reassured his members that he understands their concerns and is eager to hear their feedback “in a respectful and appropriate manner.”

Insp. Pat Flanagan, a senior officer, says “confidence and respect in our chief has taken a significant downturn. We go to great lengths to build trust and confidence with the community we serve; unfortunately the same can’t be said internally.” Flanagan said that in more than 32 years of policing he has never seen officer morale this low.

The civilian watchdog that vindicated Chief Bordeleau on allegations that he interfered with the law in getting his father-in-law's traffic ticket withdrawn, has revealed that the department has no policy or guidelines about what they can and can't do when their family members find themselves before the courts.

Former Ottawa Police Chief, Senator Vern White, is very concerned about the public battle. “It’s not healthy for any of us, and it’s certainly not healthy for this community — and they deserve better than that.”