Monday, July 13,1998
Plan would cull bad copsStudy urges cutting deals with officers
Cutting a deal to get rid of a bad cop is necessary and should be adopted as policy by the Toronto force, a consultant's report says. But any deal made by the police chief or his staff should be approved by the police services board, the report by the law firm of Torkin, Manes, Cohen and Arbus states.
The report was requested by the police board following a controversy that erupted last year over a deal involving an internal investigation into the death of a police officer. In that case, two officers who had been drinking with constable Jennifer Barbetta prior to her death in a 1993 car crash were told they could keep their jobs if they told the truth about drinking on duty.
Lawyer Ron Manes recommended at the time that no action be taken against Chief David Boothby, who as deputy chief had instructed a subordinate to tell Constables David Moore and Gregg Upshaw they would not be fired if they told the truth.
Upshaw resigned from the force in 1994 and Moore lost six month' rank in an internal discipline hearing.
The issue of deal-making has been debated for years, following several high-profile cases where Toronto officers avoided prosecution by either quitting or providing investigators with information.
In the best known case, Constable Gordon Junger was allowed to quit in the midst of an internal affairs probe into his alleged involvement in an escort service. The case sparked a public inquiry and led to much hand-wringing over the merits of deal-making.
But the consultant's report concludes that making such deals is necessary because "the search for the truth and the necessity of revealing discreditable conduct by an officer is of paramount importance."
"Failure to root out 'bad apples' from the police service will have an impact not only on individual complainants and the reputation of the service's ability to safeguard society from the criminal element."
The report is to be presented at the police board's monthly meeting Thursday. Although the consultants are recommending the police chief be allowed to cut deals again, they have suggested there be strict guidelines.
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Created: February 14, 1999|
Last modified: February 14, 1999
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