Forgie did not reply to a request for comment and the Ottawa Police Association also declined to comment on his behalf.
Police would also collect the badge, gun and the officer’s security pass — which is necessary for them to gain access to OPS buildings — from any suspended officer.
O’Toole said that there is latitude in the Act. That is why in February, unbeknownst to officers and the association, the service decided that issuing those orders to all officers “rarely served it’s intended purpose.”
O’Toole said: “A lot of people were finding out about member suspensions that pose absolutely no risk at all.”
O’Toole said the service is now attempting to balance that obligation to provide cops the notice with the individual officer’s right to privacy and wellness considerations.
“We determined that a more appropriate response is to assess risk on a case-by-case basis and notify as needed, to whom needed, versus sort of a blanket general order,” O’Toole said. “We made that process change in February. We did it in the moment when we were dealing with two serious matters.
“I think, in retrospect, if we could do a take-back, we would have notified the membership, the board, the association of the change of process in advance. We are working very quickly to develop that messaging now after the fact. We recognize that there’s a strong public interest in our process.”
O’Toole said that while various legislation might limit what the police can say about any given matter, the service still needs to be transparent about its suspension processes.
When asked how much of the process change was influenced by this newspaper’s reporting on the identities of suspended officers, O’Toole said the “level of media scrutiny on suspensions generally highlighted to us that we do owe the community a very high level of accountability.”
This content was originally published here.